Portuguese were amazing sailors during the Age of Discoveries. They were sailing worldwide and they were foodies since than for sure.
In the Portuguese enclave of Goa ( Asia, India´s west coast ), they produced more than three different types of chili plants . There is rumors that chilies were grabbed in Brazil via Portuguese capital ( Lisbon ).
Portuguese quickly spread chilies, since they were using before the black pepper to cook and has a trade.
You will find a small Portuguese presence in Thailand. The sailors fail the conversation of the locals to Christianity, however they left some heritage.
We can say that Portuguese were always sailing and real foodies. They didn´t convert the locals in Thailand and they were succeeded in revolutionizing the Thai kitchen. It is interesting to see that most of the worldwide cooking classes or market tours today are in Thailand, Vietname, Spain, France, Italy and of course Portugal .
Chilies were added to the cooking pots in Asia. They made part of the local trade routes and introduced in countries such Indonesa, Tibet and even China. Portuguese had Macau, that was delivered to China in 2000.
Chilies, first global product
Chilies was probably the first plant that went global. Become famous and used in Asia, Europe, Africa by locals which developed different dishes.
Another interesting fact besides chilies, was the introduction in Europe of tomatoes and potatoes, which took much more time to spread in Europe and Asia.
In United States of America, chili becomes more popular with the migration process on the south of the country, near the border with Mexico. The migration process increases the introduction of chili on USA meals. Mexican food, become much more popular (also supported on parsley or coriander besides the tomato based ketchup since the 90´s ).
Portuguese Empire back to XVI century have supported by sailors. They were sailing worldwide in search of wealth to bring to Europe and to the Portuguese king. Sometimes, wealth are simple things, like trees, plants, they cold develop and trade worldwide.
On Cooking Lisbon is common to use chilies on the food, giving some personalized taste to the portuguese traditional food. Just the enough to feel it, but also taste the rest of the ingredients during the meal.