What is chili pepper?
Chili peppers are the generic name of fruits from the plants under genus Capsicum. They include many varietals, and can vary in size, shape, heat, color, etc. When fresh, they can be eaten raw, or prepared with cheese filling like in a chile relleno. When dried, either naturally in the sun or a mechanical dehydrator, the fruits (pods) are typically milled down into a powder which can be used in sauces, relish, or spice blends. Generally, when speaking of chile with a "e", some chiliheads refer to a specific chile pepper pod or fruit, whereas chili with "I" refers to the dish made with chile.
How hot is a chili pepper?
Depending on the varietals, they could be sweet (no heat) like a bell pepper to extremely hot like a habanero or scorpion pepper. These days, pungency is determined by measurement of capsaicin using an extraction read using a HPLC. Before this development, it use to be done with a series of dilutions and tasters. This method was developed by a pharmacist named Scoville. His name is still synonymous with heat rating in peppers.
What is the mildest chili pepper?
A bell pepper or a paprika variety.
How do you preserve chili peppers?
Fresh peppers could be frozen, brined or pickled. The common commercialized method is to dehydrate them. Dried, they should be kept out of direct sunlight, and could be kept for up to a year. If ground, color holds up very well if refrigerated.
Is chili pepper healthy?
Very healthy. Contains high quantities of Vitamin A and C. Also fiber and other trace vitamins. No fat and no sugar.
Where do chili peppers come from?
It is believed to have originated in South America. As birds fed on the pepper fruits, they naturally spread the seeds wherever they flew. Also, European explorers who traveled to the this area also took back fruits to their native countries. As such, these plants were found to grow easily, and could be planted in most regions.
How much chili powder equals one chili pepper?
It depends on the pepper variety. The peppers commonly commercialized at spice & EZ are Anaheim/New Mexico varietals. These varieties we have more experience with. As a green, immature pepper, there is more water in the fruit than when it becomes matured and ripe. Ripe meaning when it turns red. A dried pepper average was 0.5 g vs a raw pepper at ~45 g. For another example, a fresh jalapeno (including the hollow cavity space) equates to 10x more mass than it’s equivalent, dehydrated powder form.