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PEPPERS

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DID YOU KNOW?

All peppers provide a rich amount of Vitamin C, but chilli peppers contain an additional substance, called capsaicin which provides several health benefits such as:

  • An effective treatment and natural pain relief for inflammation such as arthritis, psoriasis, diabetic neuropathy.

  • Reduce risk of heart attack and stroke as it helps to reduce cholesterol levels and formation of blood clots.

  • Clear blocked nose and congested lungs.

  • Prevent stomach ulcers by killing bacteria in the stomach and stimulate more protective stomach juices, etc.

The UK produces 140 million peppers per annum.

Wrap the peppers in paper bags or paper towels and store in the refrigerator to keep their freshness - up to 5 days for bell peppers and up to 3 weeks for chilli peppers.

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WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

In 1492, Columbus and his explorers discovered sweet and hot peppers in the West Indies. He took samples back to Europe. Peppers quickly became popular in Europe as a food, spice and condiment.

 

Twenty years later in 1512, travellers found bell pepper varieties growing throughout the West Indies, Central America, Mexico, Peru and Chilli.

 

Peppers were named by Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers who were searching for peppercorn plants that produce black pepper.

Image by Dave Simbosa

HOW DO THEY GROW?

Pepper plants begin from seeds. The seeds grow into a plant about 3 to 4 feet high.

 

Peppers are actually the fruit, which form on the plants after it flowers. If green bell peppers are left on the plant long enough, they will mature and turn from green to red.

 

The sugar content increases as a pepper matures. The red pepper therefore, tends to be sweeter than the green.

 

Sweet bell peppers can be found in a rainbow of colours such as orange, yellow, purple and brown.