The bell pepper (also known as sweet pepper, pepper or capsicum /ˈkæpsɪkəm/) is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colours, including red, yellow, orange, green, white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers".
Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Pepper seeds were imported to Spain in 1493, and from there, spread to Europe and Asia. The mild bell pepper cultivar was developed in 1920s, in Szeged, Hungary.
Preferred growing conditions for bell peppers include warm, moist soil in a temperate range of 21 to 29 °C (70 to 84 °F).
Red, yellow and green bell peppers
|Scoville scale||0 SHU|
The misleading name "pepper" was given by Europeans when Christopher Columbus brought the plant back to Europe. At that time, black pepper (peppercorns), from the unrelated plant Piper nigrum originating from India, was 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 was therefore naturally extended to the newly discovered genus Capsicum. The most commonly used alternative name of the plant family, "chile", is of Mexican origin, from the Nahuatl word chilli. Botanically speaking, bell peppers are fruits; however, they are considered vegetables in culinary contexts.
The bell pepper is the only member of the genus Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin, a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. This absence of capsaicin is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates the compound and, consequently, the "hot" taste usually associated with the rest of the genus Capsicum. This recessive gene is overwritten in the Mexibelle pepper, a hybrid variety of bell pepper that produces small amounts of capsaicin (and is thus mildly pungent). Sweet pepper cultivars produce non-pungent capsaicinoids.
The terms "bell pepper" (US, Canada), "pepper" or "sweet pepper" (UK, Ireland, Malaysia), and "capsicum" (Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan) are often used for any of the large bell-shaped peppers, regardless of their color. The vegetable is simply referred to as a "pepper", or additionally by color ("green pepper" or red, yellow, orange, purple, brown, black). In the Midland region of the U.S., bell peppers when stuffed and pickled are sometimes called "mangoes." Canadian English uses both "bell pepper" and "pepper" interchangeably.
In some languages, the term "paprika", which has its roots in the word for pepper, is used for both the spice and the fruit – sometimes referred to by their colour (e.g., "groene paprika", "gele paprika", in Dutch, which are green and yellow, respectively). The bell pepper is called "パプリカ" (papurika) or "ピーマン" (piiman, from Portuguese pimentão) in Japan. In Switzerland, the fruit is mostly called "peperone", which is the Italian name of the fruit. In France, it is called "poivron", with the same root as "poivre" (meaning "pepper") or "piment". In Spain it is called "pimiento", which would be the masculine form of the traditional spice, "pimienta". In South Korea, the word "피망" (pimang from the Japanese "ピーマン" (piiman)) refers to green bell peppers, whereas "파프리카" (papeurika from paprika) refers to bell peppers of other colors. In Sri Lanka, the fruit used as a vegetable is called "maalu miris".
The most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow, orange and red. More rarely, brown, white, lavender, and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety. Most typically, unripe fruits are green or, less commonly, pale yellow or purple. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers, although the Permagreen variety maintains its green color even when fully ripe. As such, mixed colored peppers also exist during parts of the ripening process. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest fruits are allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage is less sweet.
|Peppers, sweet, green, raw|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||84 kJ (20 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.8 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Bell peppers contain 94% water, 5% carbohydrates, and negligible fat and protein (table). They are rich sources of vitamin C, containing 97% of the Daily Value (DV) in a 100 gram reference amount (table). Red bell peppers have more vitamin C content than green bell peppers. Vitamin B6 is moderate in content (17% DV), with no other micronutrients having significant amounts of the DV (table).
Arroz a la valenciana (Spanish) or Arroz à valenciana (Portuguese) is a typical Latin American dish which is also considered as a part of Filipino cuisine. In Chile and Nicaragua it is referred to as a Latin American version of Valencian paella.Cajun cuisine
Cajun cuisine (French: Cuisine cadienne, [kɥizin kadʒæ̃n]) is a style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian people deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine; locally available ingredients predominate and preparation is simple.
An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, special made sausages, or some seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available. Crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage are staple meats used in a variety of dishes.
The aromatic vegetables green bell pepper (poivron), onion, and celery are called the holy trinity by Cajun chefs in Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines. Roughly diced and combined in cooking, the method is similar to the use of the mirepoix in traditional French cuisine which blends roughly diced carrot, onion, and celery. Characteristic aromatics for the Creole version may also include parsley, bay leaf, green onions, dried cayenne pepper, and dried black pepper.Capsicum
Capsicum (), the pepper, is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. Following the Columbian Exchange, it has become cultivated worldwide, and it has also become a key element in many cuisines. In addition to use as spices and food vegetables, Capsicum species have also been used as medicines and lachrymatory agents.Crudités
Crudités (, French: [kʁydite]; plural only) are traditional French appetizers consisting of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are typically dipped in a vinaigrette or other dipping sauce. Examples of crudités include celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, and asparagus spears.Dirty rice
Dirty rice is a traditional Creole dish made from white rice which gets a "dirty" color from being cooked with small pieces of pork, beef or chicken, green bell pepper, celery, and onion, and spiced with cayenne and black pepper. Parsley and chopped green onions are common garnishes. Dirty rice is most common in the Creole regions of southern Louisiana; however, it can also be found in other areas of the American South and referenced as chicken & rice or rice dressing.Espetada
Espetada (also known as espetinho, especially in Brazilian Portuguese) is the Portuguese term used for the technique of cooking food on skewers, and for the dishes prepared that way. Espetada is a traditional dish in Portuguese cuisine.
In Portugal, espetadas can be prepared with different types of meat, as well as squid or fish, with monkfish being commonly used. The most common are beef or pork, or a mixture of the two. More recently, turkey or chicken is used. Often pieces of bell pepper, onion, and chorizo are placed between the meat pieces. Espatada is usually accompanied by white rice or potatoes, and salad.
In Madeira, beef on bay laurel skewers is a typical dish, with origins in the Strait of Câmara de Lobos. The meat, after being cut into cubes and before being grilled, is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaf. It is then cooked over hot coals or wood chips. Bolo do caco is usually eaten with it, or milho frito, fried squares or triangles of firmly set polenta, to soak up the juices of the meat.The dish can be served on a skewer which hangs from a hook on a stand for presentation.Grandiosa
Pizza Grandiosa (Colloquially also referred to simply as Grandiosa or Grandis) refers to the most popular brand of frozen pizza in Norway. Grandiosa can also refer to the series of different Grandiosa variants. Grandiosa is Italian for great or grand.Greek salad
Greek salad or horiatiki salad (Greek: χωριάτικη σαλάτα choriatiki salata [xorˈjatici saˈlata] "village salad" or "rustic salad" or θερινή σαλάτα therini salata [θeriˈni saˈlata] "summer salad") is a salad in Greek cuisine.
Greek salad is made with pieces of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese (usually served as a slice on top of the other ingredients), and olives (usually Kalamata olives), typically seasoned with salt and oregano, and dressed with olive oil. Common additions include green bell pepper slices or caper berries (especially in the Dodecanese islands). Greek salad is often imagined as a farmer's breakfast or lunch, as its ingredients resemble those that a Greek farmer might have on hand.Holy trinity (cuisine)
The holy trinity, Cajun holy trinity, or holy trinity of Cajun cooking consists of onions, bell peppers and celery, the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana. The preparation of Cajun/Creole dishes such as crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base.
Variants use garlic, parsley, or shallots in addition to the three trinity ingredients.The holy trinity is the Cajun and Louisiana Creole variant of mirepoix; traditional mirepoix is two parts onions, one part carrots, and one part celery, whereas the holy trinity is typically equal measures of the three ingredients or two parts onions, one part celery, and one part green bell pepper.Iranian pizza
Iranian pizza (Persian: پیتزای ایرانی) also known as Persian pizza (پیتزای پارسی) refers to the various styles of pizza and its preparation rather than its toppings. Iranian pizza is served in Iran or in the Iranian diaspora. It is usually made with minced meat, beef sausage, bell pepper, mushroom, mozzarella cheese, and Persian spices.Khrenovina sauce
Khrenovina sauce is a spicy horseradish sauce served with a main course, which is very popular in Siberia. It is prepared by homogenizing fresh ingredients in a grinder: tomatoes, horseradish, garlic and salt. Ground black pepper, ground paprika, sweet bell pepper, vinegar, and sugar may also be added. This spicy horseradish sauce is sometimes also called in Russian 'khrenoder' (radish-throttler), 'gorloder' (throat-throttler), 'P.Kh.Ch.' (tomato-horseradish-garlic), 'cobra', 'flame', 'chemerges', 'vyrviglaz' (yank-out-the-eye) and 'Fantômas'. It may be served with traditional Russian meat dishes, including pelmeni.King Ranch chicken
King Ranch chicken is a popular Tex-Mex casserole. Its name comes from King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the United States, although the actual history of the dish is unknown and there is no direct connection between the dish and the ranch. Recipes vary, but generally it has a sauce made of canned diced tomatoes (commonly the Ro-Tel brand) with green chiles, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, diced bell pepper, onion, and chunks or shreds of chicken. The bottom of the casserole is lined with corn tortillas or tortilla chips, then layered with sauce and topped with cheese. Although it is blander than most Tex-Mex dishes, it has long been a favorite dish in Texas club cookbooks and lunchrooms.Kömbe
Kömbe (Turkish, Azerbaijani: Kömbə) is a kind of börek from Hatay, Turkey. It exists in both the cuisine of Turkey and that of Azerbaijan and is popular among both Turkish and Azerbaijani people.Lay's
Lay's is the name of a brand for a number of potato chip varieties, as well as the name of the company that founded the chip brand in the U.S. in 1932. It has also been called Frito-Lay with Fritos. Lay's has been owned by PepsiCo through Frito-Lay since 1965.
"Lay's" is the company's primary brand, with the exception of limited markets where other brand names are used: Walkers in the UK and Ireland; Smith's in Australia; Chipsy in Egypt; Poca in Vietnam; Tapuchips in Israel; Margarita in Colombia; Sabritas in Mexico; and, formerly, Hostess in Canada.Obložené chlebíčky
Obložené chlebíčky ("garnished breads") is an open sandwich in Czech, Polish and Slovak cuisines that is often served as an appetizer dish or as a snack. Various toppings and garnishes are used, and it is sometimes sold as a snack food.Paprika
Paprika (US English more commonly (listen), British English more commonly (listen)) is a ground spice made from dried red fruits of the larger and sweeter varieties of the plant Capsicum annuum, called bell pepper or sweet pepper. The most common variety used for making paprika is tomato pepper, sometimes with the addition of more pungent varieties, called chili peppers, and cayenne pepper. In many languages, but not English, the word paprika also refers to the plant and the fruit from which the spice is made.
Although paprika is often associated with Hungarian cuisine, the peppers from which it is made are native to the New World and were later introduced to the Old World. Originating in central Mexico, paprika was brought to Spain in the 16th century. The seasoning is also used to add color to many types of dishes.
The trade in paprika expanded from the Iberian Peninsula to Africa and Asia, and ultimately reached Central Europe through the Balkans, then under Ottoman rule, which explains the Hungarian origin of the English term. In Spanish, paprika has been known as pimentón since the 16th century, when it became a typical ingredient in the cuisine of western Extremadura. Despite its presence in Central Europe since the beginning of Ottoman conquests, it did not become popular in Hungary until the late 19th century.Paprika can range from mild to hot – the flavor also varies from country to country – but almost all plants grown produce the sweet variety. Sweet paprika is mostly composed of the pericarp, with more than half of the seeds removed, whereas hot paprika contains some seeds, stalks, placentas, and calyces. The red, orange or yellow color of paprika is due to its content of carotenoids.Pimiento
A pimiento (Spanish pronunciation: [piˈmjento]), pimento, or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 in (7 to 10 cm) long and 2 to 3 in (5 to 7 cm) wide (medium, elongate).
The flesh of the pimiento is sweet, succulent, and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. Some varieties of the pimiento type are hot, including the Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande varieties. The fruits are typically used fresh or pickled. The pimiento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper.Red beans and rice
Red beans and rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine (not originally of Cajun cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion, and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. Meats such as ham, sausage (most commonly andouille and Chaurice), and tasso ham are also frequently used in the dish. The dish is customary – ham was traditionally a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes. The dish is now fairly common throughout the Southeast. Similar dishes are common in Latin American cuisine, including moros y cristianos and gallo pinto.
Red beans and rice is one of the few New Orleans style dishes to be commonly served both in people's homes and in restaurants. Many neighborhood restaurants continue to offer it as a Monday lunch or dinner special, usually with a side order of either smoked sausage or a pork chop. While Monday washdays are largely a thing of the past, red beans remain a staple for large gatherings such as Super Bowl and Mardi Gras parties. Indeed, red beans and rice is very much part of the New Orleans identity. New Orleanian Louis Armstrong's favorite food was red beans and rice – the musician would sign letters "Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong". And in 1965, the R&B instrumental group Booker T. & the M.G.'s wrote and recorded a song titled "Red Beans and Rice" that was originally a B-side but later became popular in its own right.
The vegetarian dish Rajma chawal is very similar (which translates literally to red beans and rice), popular in North India. Red beans and rice is also a dietary staple in Central America, where it is known as "arroz con habichuelas". The dish is popular in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Haitian and Jamaican cuisine as well.Shrimp Creole
Shrimp creole is a dish of Louisiana Creole origin (French, and Spanish Heritage), consisting of cooked shrimp in a mixture of whole or diced tomatoes, the Holy trinity of onion, celery and bell pepper, spiced with hot pepper sauce and/or cayenne-based seasoning, and served over steamed or boiled white rice. The shrimp may be cooked in the mixture or cooked separately and added at the end. Other "creole" dishes may be made by substituting some other meat or seafood for the shrimp, or omitting the meat entirely.
Creole-type dishes combine the qualities of a gumbo and a jambalaya. They are typically thicker and spicier than a gumbo, and the rice is prepared separately and used as a bed for the creole mixture, rather than cooked in the same pot as with a jambalaya. Creole dishes also do not contain broth or roux; instead, the creole mixture is simmered to its desired degree of thickness. Apart from the foundation ingredients of onion, celery and bell pepper, creole dishes are free-form "improvisational" dishes, as the basic recipe may be altered to include whatever ingredients the cook has available.