Bill and I talked our way into the display section of this trade show, without paying the $2500 pesos, promising not to go into the lecture hall. We saw paintings, exhibits, artifacts, etc. all related to different chile peppers. Exhibitors were from all over Mexico and included companies selling agricultural equipment and insect control systems.
There were about sixty paintings by different Mexican artists, all with a chile theme. I especially liked one that was an all-yellow background with the word Picante in red, in the center.
Our friend Malena Peon had a large, interesting painting on display showing women and chiles. She had actual strings of dried peppers of various kinds draped across the canvas, mirroring the image in the painting.
We oogled charts that specified the varying anti-oxidant and free radical levels of different peppers and I was glad to see that the Poblano, my favorite, was right up there.
Interestingly, the X’catic, which I had been told was native only to the Yucatan, was subtitled Capsicum and the chart indicated that it was grown in many places.
We met several botany professors who interpreted some of the charts for us. They were Doctoras Lidia Durantes and Alicia Ortiz from the Instituto Politecnico National, in Mexico City. And Genesis Karendash from Merida is a plant chemist at the University of the Caribe, here in Yucatan. Jessica Hernandez is one of the students.
It was very gracious of the registration people to let us in without paying for the conference. We were the only gringos in sight.