Bell Peppers, So Handy
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Bell peppers are largely the “unhot”peppers of the world as opposed to hot, spicy chili bellpeppeppers. 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.

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Bell Peppers, Almost Always Seen with Onions
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Bell peppers are members of the nightshades family, not hot and come in many colors:  peppersgreen, orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, even black. Red, yellow and orange bell peppers are considered sweeter. Bells join onions and celery as members of the aromatic holy trinity.

There are countless ways to use bell peppers in cooking. Eaten raw or cooked, they are a favorite tag along in American cooking. Some people serve green peppers and fresh pineapples fresh from the grill, others make sure green peppers are in their black beans and rice, and some stuff them with a meat and rice mixture. Roasted and skinned red bell peppers, are also called pimentos.

Bell peppers were cultivated as far back as 9000 years ago in South and Central America. Later European colonists used them, and through this connection, they eventually made their way back into Europe. Continue reading