Soweto Chili

Ark of taste
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Chilli peppers, indigenous to South America, were brought to Africa by Portuguese traders during the 17th Century, sailing to the East, and circumnavigating Africa.

In South Africa, chillies were enthusiastically adopted into the diets of both indigenous and settler populations.

In the town of Soweto, South West of the metropolis of Johannesburg, home to many small scale urban farmers, a unique variety of chilli has developed, that has naturalized to the temperate, high altitude, summer rainfall, and dry winter of the region. This chilli grows exclusively on a farm , once an abandoned sports field, that has been restored to a fully productive urban farm. The farmers select the seeds for reproduction

It is a very hot chilli, with a fiery kick, and robust, full bodied aftertaste, unique to the terroir of the region.

This chilli is prized by the largely Indian population in the nearby town of Lenasia, who use it in their dishes. It can be eaten fresh and green in sauces, as a condiment, or ripened until red, in pastes, sauces and curries. It can also be dried and powdered for use in curry dishes.

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StateSouth Africa


Production area:Soweto

Other info


Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Melissa de Billot