The jalapeño gets in name from Jalapa, Mexico (also known as Xalapa, Mexico) where it first started growing. However, the pepper is no longer grown commercially in that area. Ancient Aztecs were the first people to use the jalapeño, but it did not become a global sensation until Columbus spread hot peppers around the world in 1492.
Even though it is no longer being produced in Jalapa, most jalapeños grow in Mexico, especially Chihuahua. You can also find these peppers in India, China, Spain, and Peru. The United States produces some jalapenos each year and has started growing large amounts of crops in New Mexico, Texas, and California. Texas even declared the jalapeño its state pepper. In February, the state celebrates the Jalapeño Festival as part of Washington’s Birthday Celebration in the city of Laredo.
Not only is the jalapeño delicious, but it’s also good for you. They are filled with vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, B6, C, and K. You can get some of your daily fiber, folate, and magnesium. Additionally, these peppers are rich in antioxidants. Available as flakes and powder, as well as many jalapeno hot sauces and seasonings.