Bell pepper is the fruit – yes, botanically speaking, it’s a fruit! – of Capsicum annuum, the same species of chili pepper, but a different cultivar: Capsicum annuum var. grossum.
It’s native to the Americas. It belongs to the same botanic family as eggplant, tomato, and potato – the Solanaceae.
Bell peppers are in many colors. The most commonly used are the red, yellow, and green ones. Actually, they are different stages of ripeness of the same variety. The green one is an unripe red bell pepper. In addition to these three colors, there are also white, purple, and brown peppers.
They all taste different. The green is the most aromatic. The red one is sweet, so it is also called “Sweet Pepper”.
While it grows all year long in tropical regions, in temperate regions it is in season only in summer.
Peppers are rich in vitamin C. 100g of a raw red bell pepper provides 121mg of vitamin C, just after parsley, which provides 177mg. For comparison, orange has “only” 47.5mg of vitamin C for 100g.
Choose firm and smooth bell peppers with shiny skin.
Store them in a cool place or in the vegetable compartment of the fridge, where they can keep fresh for up to one week.
Did you know? Paprika spice is made from dried and grounded bell pepper.