Bell peppers are largely the “unhot”peppers of the world as opposed to hot, spicy chili peppers. They’re low-calorie and great raw, grilled, roasted or stuffed. Found in a variety of colors, these bells can be green, red, yellow, orange, brown or purple. The green and purples are slightly on the bitter side, while the yellows, oranges and reds tend to be sweeter and even slightly fruitier.
Though bell peppers share the family name, Capsicum annuum, which implies heat, the bells remain sweet, not hot. The whole pepper family, however, is a member of the nightshade family along with their cousins eggplant, tomatoes, and white potatoes.
All peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Today, China is the world’s largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and the United States.