info: Hot peppers, also know as chili peppers, are the fruit of the pepper (capsicum) plant. They come in a wide variety of colors and have a spicy (sometimes very spicy!) flavor and a crisp, fresh texture. An excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C.
varieties we grow: Anaheim, Cherry, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Paper Lantern Habanero, and regular Habanero (pictured here – left to right, mildest to hottest)
Not pictured: Poblano pepper, which is the mildest of all.
storage: Store in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week.
You can also dry peppers by hanging them in a warm, dry place. A convenient way to do this is by stringing them up as a ristra.
preparation: Wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers. The capsaicin oils they contain will sting, burn, and irritate skin. Do not touch your eyes, nose or any other sensitive area during or after handling hot peppers. Most handsoaps will not cut through the oils either – to wash exposed areas completely use either whole fat milk or yogurt.
Wash peppers well in cold water. Trim stems & tops. Slice in half lengthwise. To reduce the heat of the peppers, remove the seeds & inner white membrane as well. Chop to desired size/consistency.
You can eat hot peppers raw or cooked. They go well in stir-frys and sauces and make a good seasoning for many soups and stews. They can also be roasted or baked.
from Pepper: History
The pepper, native to the tropics of Central and South America, has probably been cultivated for thousands of years. Archaeologists exploring prehistoric caves in Peru have found the remains of pepper seeds.
South America, Spain, England and the Caribbean all played roles in the introduction of the pepper to North America. Columbus explored the seas in search of a better trade route to the Indies. Dangerous, lengthy overland journeys made spices an expensive commodity for Europeans. When Columbus reached the Caribbean, he tasted a vegetable being grown by the Indians. Its sharp taste reminded him of the familiar black pepper from the East Indies and so he called this vegetable “pepper,” as we do to this day. However, Columbus was incorrect as the newly found vegetable was not the pepper of “salt and pepper” (Piper nigrum) but an entirely different genus, Capsicum.
He brought peppers back to Spain where they were considered an appealing alternative to the more traditional spice. The instant popularity of the vegetable is apparent from the comment of Peter Martyr, writing in 1493 that “…in the New World can be found plants hotter than pepper of Caucasus.” (He was referring to Piper nigrum.) From Spain the cultivation of the pepper soon spread to the rest of the continent and England. History does not tell us whether peppers reached North America via Europe or the Caribbean. …read more