C is for Capsicum Flower
We are all familiar with chili peppers but have you ever looked closely at the flower of this popular spice? I was not even aware chili peppers have flowers---well, at the back of my mind, I know it has flowers but didn't really see them until the Christmas weekend I stayed at my brother's.
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum. It has been a part of the human diet in the Americas since 7500 B.C. and was introduced to Europe during the time of Columbus. The spread of chili peppers to Asia was most likely a natural consequence of its introduction to Portuguese traders (Lisbon was a common port of call for Spanish ships sailing to and from the Americas) who aware of its trade value, would have likely promoted its commerce in the Asian spice trade routes then dominated by Portuguese and Arab traders. Wiki
This capsicum is very important to my brother and his neighbors. My brother even joked that he makes sure this plant is protected every time there is a typhoon. The neighbors get their chili peppers from this plant; some of the ripe fruits are added to a vinegar dip we call "sinamak" that complements grilled pork, fish and shellfish; it also adds a kick to soy sauce, ceviche, and many fish, beef, pork and vegetable dishes. The leaves are likewise added to a chicken and vegetable soup called Tinola.
The capsicum flowers are very tiny--the fruit is about an inch long, so you can image how small the flowers are. No wonder I didn't notice them before.:p
“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”
~ Frank Herbert, Dune