Most peppers, also known as chili peppers, can be categorized as one of three general types: sweet peppers, hot peppers or ornamental peppers. Peppers were one of the earliest plants cultivated in the New World. Archeological evidence suggests that peppers were used as food ingredients in Peru more than 8,000 years ago. Columbus mistakenly applied the label ‘pepper’ to the plant he found growing in Caribbean gardens, likely confusing it with the highly prized but botanically unrelated black pepper. Within 100 years, peppers had spread around the world and today constitute the defining ingredient in traditional cuisines worldwide. Botanically, most cultivated peppers today are Capsicum annum (most common), C. frutescens (tabasco), C. chinense(habanero), or crosses within and among these various species. Genus name comes from the Greek word kapto meaning to bite.