In Canto 7 of The Lusíads, when Vasco da Gama and his crew finally land in Calicut, they encounter a Moor named Monsayeed who explains to the former:
You are now in India, with its various
Peoples who prosper and grow rich
From gold and sweet perfumes and peppercorns
Cardamoms, hot chillies, and precious stones.
Luís Vaz de Camões, The Lusíads. Trans. Landeg White. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. VII.31.4–8, p. 145
The mention of "hot chillies" is puzzling. The chilli pepper was unknown in India until the sixteenth century, when the Portuguese themselves brought it to the subcontinent. Chilli peppers are native to the Americas. Pedro Álvares Cabral landed in Brazil in 1500 and claimed it for Portugal. By 1530, the Portuguese had consolidated their hold on Goa, and they introduced the chilli pepper there around this time. So at da Gama's landing in 1497, how could Monsayeed say that Indians prospered by trading in "hot chillies"? Is this foreshadowing? An error on Camões' part?