Sweet Red Peppers

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About

Sweet red peppers or bell peppers are considered "sweet" because it is part of the less pungent variety. Sweet red peppers have a mild sweet flavor, and a crisp juicy flesh.

Sweet red peppers are known for its nutrient density. It meets daily requirements for Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and beta carotene.

Information

Other names: Red Peppers, Red Bell Peppers
Translations: Sweet raudonos paprikos, Sweet ardei roşu, Slatka crvena paprika, Słodka czerwona papryka, मिठाई लाल मिर्च, Sweet Peppers Red, Сладкий перец, Γλυκό Κόκκινη Πιπεριά, الفلفل الأحمر الحلو, 달콤한 빨간 후추, Sweet červené papriky, 甜辣椒, Dolça vermell Peppers, Sweet červenej papriky, Peperoni rossi, מתוק פלפלים אדומים, Свеет црвене паприке, スウィートレッドペッパーズ, Poivrons rouges doux, Paprika, Søde røde peberfrugter, Dulce rojo Peppers, Солодкий перець, Сладки червени чушки

Physical Description

Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. They usually range in size from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, and 2 to 6 inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core. Bell peppers are not 'hot'. They contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound responsible for the 'hotness' found in other peppers.

Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are like the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world since they are beautifully shaped, glossy in appearance and come in a variety of vivid colors such as green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and black. Despite their varied palette, all are the same plant, known scientifically as Capsicum annuum, and are members of the nighstshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.

Sweet peppers are plump, bell shaped vegetables that usually feature either three or four lobes. There are also other varieties that have a more tapered shape and no distinguishing lobes. Sweet peppers usually range in size from two to five inches in diameter and two to six inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core.

Colors: bright red, dark red,

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, slightly bitter-sweet

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Like their relatives, the chili peppers, bell peppers originated in South America with seeds of a wild variety dating back to 5000 BC. Like many other foods native to this region, sweet peppers were carried throughout the world by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who traveled through this continent.

Due to the fact that bell peppers are very adaptable plants, being able to be grown in tropical and temperature climates, as well as very versatile foods, their cultivation and adoption into varying cuisines spread rapidly throughout many parts of the world. They have become a staple in central Europe where they are dried for paprika, a necessity for the flavor of Louisiana Creole dishes, and an integral ingredient in both Mexican and Portuguese cuisines. Currently, the main producers of sweet peppers are China, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Nigeria and Mexico.

Buying: You can buy Sweet Red Peppers on your local market or your nearest grocery store under spices division.
Procuring: Peppers have always been a popular vegetable to grow in the garden. Bell peppers are native to Central and North America. A sweet green pepper is a pepper that is not yet ripe. Let it grow, and it will turn red. Not only the texture will change, but the flavor will change as well. Growing bell peppers is easy with these simple steps.

Plant seeds eight weeks before the last frost indoor using a pot that is at least 2 inches or slightly larger.

Prepare the garden by adding plenty of compost, manure and a general fertilizer.

Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost. If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting for a few days. Wait until the soil is 70 to 85 degrees before setting the seedlings out.

Space the seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart and in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. Spacing may vary by variety.

Water the plants regularly, especially in the hot, dry summer months. Pepper plants like moist soil. If you do not water enough, the bell peppers will acquire a bitter taste.

Surround the peppers with mulch to keep weeds from growing and to retain moisture.

Dust for spider mites and aphids with an organic insecticide as needed.

Harvest the bell pepper at any point after they reach an edible size. Most bell pepper peppers are green when immature and can be harvested at that time. Mature bell peppers can be red, orange, yellow, green or purple depending on the variety.

Continue to harvest bell peppers by clipping them off the plant, but don't pull them off. Bell peppers will continue to grow until the first frost.

Preparation and Use

Use a paring knife to cut around the stem and then gently remove it. Peppers can be cut into various shapes and sizes. To easily chop, dice or cut the peppers into strips, first cut the pepper in half lengthwise, clean out the core and seeds, and then, after placing the skin side down on the cutting surface, cut into the desired size and shape. Peppers can also be cut horizontally into rings or left whole for stuffed peppers after carefully removing the seeds from the inner cavity.

Cleaning: Before coring and/or cutting the pepper, wash it under running water. If the pepper has been waxed, you should also scrub it well.

Conserving and Storing

Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for up to one week. Sweet peppers can be frozen without first being blanched. It is better to freeze them whole since there will be less exposure to air which can degrade both their nutrient content and flavor.

Social/Political

The misleading name "pepper" (pimiento in Spanish) was given by Christopher Columbus upon bringing the plant back to Europe. At that time peppercorns, the fruit of Piper nigrum, an unrelated plant originating from India, were a highly prized condiment; the name "pepper" was at that time applied in Europe to all known spices with a hot and pungent taste and so naturally extended to the newly discovered Capsicum family. The most commonly used alternative name of the plant family, "chili", is of Central American origin. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables. When cut off, the top of the bell pepper is referred to as a "pepper pan"

History: Like their relatives, the chili peppers, bell peppers originated in South America with seeds of a wild variety dating back to 5000 BC. Like many other foods native to this region, sweet peppers were carried throughout the world by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who traveled through this continent.

Due to the fact that bell peppers are very adaptable plants, being able to be grown in tropical and temperature climates, as well as very versatile foods, their cultivation and adoption into varying cuisines spread rapidly throughout many parts of the world. They have become a staple in central Europe where they are dried for paprika, a necessity for the flavor of Louisiana Creole dishes, and an integral ingredient in both Mexican and Portuguese cuisines. Currently, the main producers of sweet peppers are China, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Nigeria and Mexico.

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Comments

Thomas's picture

Bell peppers are fruits.