Know Your Produce? Peppers

pepper chartWe love peppers, especially the sweet bell peppers. We use them for all kinds of things throughout the year, but most recently we have used them for fajita salad, classic Italian style meat loaf, chicken tortilla soup and snacking. Since bell peppers can be expensive we consider them a treat, but make room for them in the budget because they lend such flavor and are high in many nutrients, especially Vitamin C.

Kathleen’s Sweet Chili Peppers: 1 pt. Mini Sweet Peppers topped and seeded. Fill mini sweet peppers with 1/2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce and as much cream cheese to fit. Grill or broil until soft tender and warmed through. Enjoy!

Peppers are a colorful berry that comes in many shapes and sizes. You will usually find peppers classified as either sweet peppers or chili peppers. The many names of peppers or chilies can lead to confusion. Chili peppers are often referred to as hot peppers although the “heat” of peppers can very from mild to intense. Even the spelling can differ from chili, chille or chile. Perhaps the reason for chili pepper confusion is that even the same variety of pepper can vary in taste and heat depending on the growing conditions. People seem to have varying tolerance to the heat producing substance capsaicin. Peppers, even the hottest varieties are a favorite food of birds because they have no sensation of heat when consuming peppers.

Chili Peppers are indigenous to the Americas and were one of the first cultivated crops domesticated between 5200 and 3400 B.C. Christopher Columbus encountered them in the Caribbean and called them peppers because of their similarity in taste to old world peppers. In 1493 a physician aboard Christopher Columbus ship brought peppers to Spain and wrote about their medicinal effects. Today peppers are used in medicine thought the world. Cultivation of peppers has spread worldwide and they are used in many cuisines.

Chili peppers are commonly eaten raw, dried, ground, fermented, smoked and stewed and even used for decorating. You can find unlimited recipes on-line or in cooking publications.

Nutritionally red chili peppers reign supreme. They are rich in vitamin C. provitamin A, Vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and iron. Green peppers provide the same nutrients in lesser portions.

Common Peppers

 Sweet Peppers: Pimento                       Holland Bell                   Cuban Elle                         Bell Pepper

Chili Peppers:

* Mild                                       ** Moderately Hot                                                                   *** Hot                                     **** Very Hot                       ***** Extremely Hot

Anaheim           *                             Banana              *                     Cayenne   ****                     Cherry           **                     Chilanca   *                                                     Geuro         **                 Fresno     ***                                               Habanera   *****                       Holland     ***                         Jalapeno       ***                   Manzanna ***                       Mirasol         **                               New Mexico Green **                   Poblano   *                             Rocoto           ****                   Scotch bonnet *****               Serrano     ****                     Shishito   *                                 Thai   *****                                 Yellow wax **

 

 

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About Rachel

Owner @ Brown Box Organics.
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