Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Capsicums - Some like 'em sweet/Some like 'em hot

Capsicum annuum
 For a cook there are two types of peppers; sweet and hot, but the botanical divisions are more complex. Capsicum annuum is an annual or short-lived perennial with one flower in each leaf axil and includes sweet and hot peppers.  Capsicum frutescens is a perennial with up to three flowers per leaf-joint and has smaller pungent chillies.

Sweet peppers are rich in vitamin C and a digestive stimulant - can be chopped in salads, cooked and pickled.  Hot or chilli peppers enliven bland foods and give heat to curries.  The pungent capsaicin of chillies stimulates circulation and sensory nerves, disinfects food and eases sore throats.  The infused oil gives a warming massage for rheumatism.  Crushed chillies make cayenne pepper and flavour Tabasco sauce, dried paprika is popular in Hungarian cooking and helps prevent seasickness.

When harvesting cut them off with an inch of stem on each fruit.  If you have more than you can eat fresh, hang the vines up in a dry windy place to dry.  You may have to finish the drying process by hanging over a mild heat indoors.  The they can be stored until you want them for winter.


  1. My favourite subject! They are not only nice to eat, but also hugely photogenic.

  2. Loving the look of your new blog. I'm not having much luck with Peppers this year, not enough sunshine.

  3. Thanks Bridget - I must admit my peppers have been a bit slow coming and not as many as other years. C'est la vie!


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