How an acrobat who escaped from communist Romania brought peppers back to America (P)

Cjust yesterday morning I was looking for all kinds of information about the history of the doughnut, a vegetable that is closely related to this corner of the world where we also live. But the internet took me to another story. That's how I first found out about the Antohi pepper, whose seeds you can find on profile sites around the world. It seems that this pepper (common here), a variety of capsicum annuum, is very popular in other countries.

As we know the origin of bell peppers is in Central and South America, but this particular variety comes from Romania (it's a hybrid) and has been acclimatized and popularized in the USA since 1991.

The story seems very interesting, but unfortunately there is only a little information about. The pepper is named after a former acrobat, Jan Antohi, who, during communism, on tour with the circus around the world, fled and stayed in America. The story, which we can read on numerous sites dedicated to the seed trade, says that he really missed the food at home, but he was missing certain ingredients. After the Revolution he returned to visit Romania. When he returned to his adopted country, he also brought seeds of this type of pepper with him, and from there it seems to have spread all over the world.

The 'Antohi Romanian' pepper is a variety of capsicum, known for its conical shape and color, which varies from pale green to bright red as it ripens. It is prized for its sweet and juicy pulp, ideal for frying, baking or eating raw in salads. Its uniqueness and gastronomic qualities quickly made it popular among gardeners and amateur chefs, but also among professionals.

The story of Jan Antohi and his pepper has been shared and inspired many people, highlighting not only the deep connection between people and plants, but also how cultures and traditions can intertwine in unexpected ways, resulting in the enrichment of the global culinary heritage. Over time, "Antohi Romanian" became not only a symbol of survival and adaptation, but also a testimony of Jan Antohi's passion for gardening and for preserving Romanian culinary traditions in an international context.

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