The pepper has always been popular. In the beginning it was a medicinal spice, but in more recent history it has gained culinary popularity, mainly for its pungent taste. Pepper, more often than not, is native to South America and Africa, but today it has become an important export crop, grown largely in China and India. Today pepper is grown on every continent except Antarctica. Pepper has many names including red or green pepper, sweet pepper, Hawaiian pepper, Indian pepper, African-rubbed pepper, Paccaki, Red Peony, Cushion Pepper, and Chili Pepper.
Black pepper, sometimes called Cajun pepper, is a perennial flowering vine from the family Piperaceae, native to Central and South America and found in floodplains, swamps, rivers, canals, caves, ponds, and thickets. The fruit is generally about 5mm in diameter, black, red, and has a single seed, much like all other pungent spices. In the entire plant the leaves are coated with a bitter resin, which serves as a deterrent to insects. The seeds contain a large number of hydrocarbons (or substances that burn) and the seeds contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that gives peppers their heat. It is estimated that a single pepper contains about sixty-five to seventy milligrams of capsaicin. This is one reason why Cajun food is such a healthy choice; the high amount of capsaicin in these foods keep insects away from the plant, making it less susceptible to disease and pests.
India's mango is another popular variety of pepper. Mango is known for both its size and its heat. As a tropical fruit tree it is found in Southeast Asia and its flesh is eaten as an excellent spice or in its raw form as well as in recipes. A variety of hybrid mango cultivars have also been developed in India; these produce a different variety of fruit from the native Mango trees. The mango is also widely grown as a commercial crop in southernmost parts of India, where it flourishes on the commercial spice Called Maach-Bhaat.