Pepper and Peppers:

Pepper is the number one selling spice in America

Pepper comes in many colors, green, black, red and white but all comes from the same plant, the color is related to how ripe it is and how it has been processed

Pepper is native to India and grows as a tall vine with the peppercorns as flowering drupes

It has been used in cooking for over 2000 years!

  • Pepper was mostly eaten by the wealthy in the past as it was so expensive and sort after, traders formed spice routes from India to Europe and would often fight over them
  • In the Middle ages a mans wealth was measured by his stock pile of pepper
  • The Romans would even demand pepper as a ransom when besieging a city
  • Pepper gets its kick from the compound peperine
  • Pepper loses its flavor and aroma through evaporation so its best to keep it in an airtight container
  • Consider using whole peppercorns and grinding just before use to maintain flavor and add near the end of cooking
  • All of the above taken from americanspice.com
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is not the seeds that are the hottest part of a pepper. Inside the pepper there is an ingredient called ‘Capsaicin’, which has been proven to be the cause of the hotness of a pepper. (Reference Miriam Webster online dictionary)
  • According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, “the pungency of hot peppers, including Tabasco, chili, and cayenne peppers, comes from the compound capsaicin in the internal partitions of the fruit.”
  • The Everett Clinicexplains that Capsaicin is also used in other forms; such as a dietary supplement and in topical skin creams and ointments to help relieve pain.Here it is also suggested that Capsaicin:
  • May help prevent heart disease
  • May stimulate the cardiovascular system
  • May lower blood cholesterol levels
  • May lower blood pressure
  • Helps prevent clotting and hardening of arteries
  • Acts as an antioxidant, protecting the cells of the body from damage by harmful molecules
  • May help prevent bacterial infections
  • May improve your digestion by increasing the digestive fluids in the stomach
  • Another use of the compound Capsaicin is in the area of non lethal force. “Capsaicin is the active ingredient in the chemical riot control agent pepper spray. When the spray comes in contact with skin, especially eyes or mucous membranes it is very painful.” (Reference Wikipedia.org
    • Why do people sneeze when inhaling pepper? Because piperine, a chemical irritant in pepper can enter the nose


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