Chili Peppers

What are chili peppers? When do you use chili pepper? What are the uses of chili peppers? Chili peppers are important cooking ingredients used in most Asian recipes for cooking spicy Asian cuisines and the most popular type of chili pepper used to cook Asian food are red hot chili peppers. Chili pepper which is also called chilli pepper, chilli, chillie, chili, or chile, or chili hot pepper, is the fruit of the plants from the genus capsicum.

As it is commonly known, the fruit of capsicums are berries, the peppers are known as vegetables or spices which are used for culinary purposes. Depending on spiciness and fleshiness, you can use the chili pepper as a form of vegetable such as a bell pepper or as a spice such as a cayenne pepper. Chili peppers come from the Americas. Their cultivars are now grown everywhere in the world because chili peppers are widely used as food and as medicine.

What is the history of chili peppers? Where do chili peppers come from? People in the Americas have started eating chili peppers since early 7500 BC. There is proof at areas located near the southwestern Ecuador where chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago and chili peppers is one of the first cultivated crops in the Americas that is self-pollinating. You can find evidence that chili peppers have been domesticated in different areas of the southern and central America. The first European to discover chili peppers was Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean and he called them peppers because of their similarity in taste with the Old World black peppers of the Piper genus. Chili peppers were planted around the globe after Columbus. Diego Alvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus’ second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first chili peppers to Spain, and noted down the medicinal values of chili peppers in 1494..

From Mexico, which was controlled by the Spanish at that time, chili peppers was introduced to the Philippines and then to India, China, Korea and Japan respectively whereby chili peppers are then being used to cook their daily cuisines. The Portuguese obtaining the chili pepper from Spain, and then taken to India. Chili pepper figures heavily in the cuisine of the Goan region of India, which was the site of a Portuguese colony, for example vindaloo is an Indian interpretation of a Portuguese dish. The history of chili peppers can be traced form its journey from India, through Central Asia and Turkey, to Hungary, where it became the national spice which is known as paprika.

What are the famous types of chili peppers? How many species of chili peppers are available in the market? What are the common types of chili peppers? Popular species of chili peppers include the capsicum annuum such as bell peppers, wax, cayenne, jalapenos, and the chiltepin, the capsicum frutescens such as the tabasco and Thai peppers, the capsicum chinense such as the naga, habanero, datil and Scotch bonnet, the capsicum pubescens such as the South American rocoto peppers and the capsicum baccatum such as the South American aji peppers.

The Capsicum chinense are known as the hottest chili peppers among the different types of chili peppers in the world. This is definitely a real red hot chili pepper. Although there are only a few commonly used species, there are many cultivars and methods of preparing chili peppers that uses different names for cooking The green and red bell peppers are the same cultivar of capsicum annuum; immature peppers being green. In the same species are the jalapeño, the poblano (when dried is known as the ancho), New Mexico (which is also called the chile colorado), anaheim, serrano, and other cultivars. The species capsicum frutescens appears as chiles de arbol, aji, tabasco, cherry peppers and malagueta. Three main types of chili peppers include bell peppers, sweet peppers and hot peppers. What are the most popular types of chili pepper? The most popular pepper varieties are seen as falling into one of these categories or as a cross between these three main types of chili peppers.

What causes chili peppers to be so hot and intense? Why are chili peppers usually being referred to as red hot chili peppers? It may be due to the intensity of the chili peppers. The thing that give chili peppers their intensity or hotness when eaten or applied topically are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and a few related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. Capsaicin is the main ingredient in pepper spray. When swallowed, capsaicinoids mix with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are normally responsible for sensing heat. Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a signal to the brain that the person has consumed something hot and spicy. The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and release of endorphins. A famous research stated that capsaicin changes how the body’s cells use energy produced by hydrolysis of ATP.

In the normal hydrolysis the SERCA protein uses this energy to move calcium ions into the sarcoplasmic reticulum. When capsaicin is present, it alters the conformation of the SERCA, and thus lowers the ion movement; because of this, the ATP energy (which would have been used to pump the ions) is then released as heat. The spiciness of chili peppers is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), which is the number of times a chili extract must be diluted in water for it to lose its heat or spiciness. Bell peppers rank at 0 SHU, New Mexico green chili at about 1,500 SHU, jalapeños at 3,000–6,000 SHU, and habaneros at 300,000 SHU. The record for the hottest chili pepper that was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records is the naga jolokia which comes from the northeastern part of India, measuring over 1,000,000 SHU. Pure capsaicin, which is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless, and crystalline-to-waxy solid at room temperature, measures at about 16,000,000 SHU. So, depending on how spicy you want your food to be, you should choose chili peppers that has the correct intensity to suit your tasting buds.

Asian Recipes

Tags: , ,

Go Top

Comments are closed.