Sweet Bell Pepper

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Sweet Bell Pepper

Scovilles

Scientific Classification

Capsicum annuum

Heat rating in Scovilles:

0 – 0

Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper in the United Kingdom, is a very mild pepper that comes in several colors, including red, yellow, orange, purple and green. Peppers in general are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Pepper seeds were imported to Spain in 1493, and from there, spread to Europe and Asia. The mild bell pepper was developed in 1920s, in Szeged, Hungary.

The bell pepper is the only member of the genus Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin. The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the “hot” taste usually associated with the rest of the genus Capsicum. This recessive gene is overwritten in the Mexibelle pepper, a hybrid variety of bell pepper that produces small amounts of capsaicin.

The terms “bell pepper” (US), “pepper” or “sweet pepper” (UK), and “capsicum” (Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan) are often used for any of the large bell-shaped vegetables, regardless of their color.

The most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow, orange and red. More rarely, brown, white, lavender, and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety. Most typically, unripe fruits are green or, less commonly, pale yellow or purple. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers, although the Permagreen variety maintains its green color even when fully ripe. As such, mixed colored peppers also exist during parts of the ripening process. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest.

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