Sweet peppers refers to any of the several species and cultivars of sweet peppers in the family of nightshade (Solanaceae). Unlike the chile peppers, they do not or minimally contain capsaicin, the compound that is responsible for the pepper’s heat. Hence, they’re more noted for their “sweet” flavor. Some varieties include banana pepper, Italian long, and bell pepper. They all start as green, and they change to the brightly colored ones as they mature. Ripe pods tend to be sweeter than the unripe ones as the sugar and vitamin C content increases as they mature.
Nevertheless, these peppers have been widely used around the world. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
Most of these fruits have been in existence roughly 8,000 years ago. They are native to Central and North America, as well as to Mexico. They were introduced to Europe and reintroduced back into North America during the 15th century. Consequently, it has later spread throughout Asia and Africa.
Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade)
Genus: Capsicum (Pepper)
Species: Capsicum Annuum
Binomial Name: Capsicum Annuum
Sweet Pepper Trivia
- Explorer Christopher Columbus, along with his troops, were the first Europeans to encounter the genus. They call them “peppers” in reference to the spicy Piper genus that we commonly know as peppercorns.
- The Portuguese traders were the ones who introduced the genus in Asia. They promoted its commerce in the routes of the Asian spice trade.
- One large bell pepper, a variety of sweet pepper, contains 300% of the daily required vitamin C.