Monday, October 06, 2008

Capsicum Peppers

Capsicum Peppers
Several condiments are prepared from the dried fruits of a plants belonging to the Solanaceae or Potato family. It is native to tropical America, but is cultivated throughout the world. Capsicum fruits are the source of paprika, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and chili powder.

Paprika is produced from the fruit of capsicum annum. The color of the fruits may range from a bright-red to a brick red. The flavor is characterized by having little or no pungency. Capsicum annum grows in temperate climates, in countries such as Spain, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, and the United States. In the home paprika is used for flavoring and garnishing meat and fish dishes, poached and deviled eggs, salads, canap├ęs, etc. In the food industry, it is used in the preparation of catsup, sauces and other foods.

Cayenne pepper is made from the dried, ripe fruit of C. frutescens, C. boccatum, or some other smaller more pungent capsicum. These plants are grown in Africa, Japan, Louisiana, and other areas of the world. The pungency of this species is due to a compound known as capsicum; the spice must be used with discretion for a small amount will add considerable flavor to foods.

Red pepper is the ground product from large red peppers. It is milder than cayenne pepper and is used primarily in spaghetti, soups, stews, and Mexican-style dishes.

Chili powder is a combination of spices that includes a bland such as chili con crane and hot tamales. It is also used as a seasoning for eggs, stews, pork and beans, sausages products, etc.

The principal flavoring constituents of the capsicums is a non volatile crystalline substance known as capsaicin. Paprika owes its color to several carotenoids.
Capsicum Peppers

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