If you happen to have a taste for the spicy and fiery things in life, you will almost certainly be a real fan of chili peppers. These wonderful and fragrant fruits, and yes, they are actually a form of fruit, can be used in a wide range of different dishes, with each type providing its own unique and distinct flavors. Whether you’re making a spicy curry, or perhaps a stir fry or Asian-inspired salad, without chilies, your dishes would simply not have that ‘wow factor’ that many aspiring chefs strive for. If you’re a fan of chili peppers, you may find the following article especially interesting, as we provide you with a series of interesting facts about chili peppers.
Nora peppers are synonymous with Spanish cuisine – Spanish cuisine is incredibly popular all over the globe, and if you’re a fan, you owe thanks to the humble Spanish Nora Pepper. Nora peppers are just about as common as salt and pepper, and are found in many traditional Spanish staple dishes. These sweet, earthy peppers are used in paella, cocidos (Spanish stew), and even chorizo sausages.
Calabria is home to some of the best peppers in the world – Calabrian chili peppers are considered by many to be the best types of peppers in the world, and it’s easy to see why. You see, Calabria enjoys hot sunshine, sandy and clay enriched soil, and many other optimal climate conditions which ensure that the chilies grown in this region are more delicious than ever. The seeds are planted in the winter, either January or February, are watered daily, and exposed to a lot of warm sunshine. As the weather improves, the fruit ripens and is harvested typically around August or September. Many of the chilies are actually left to dry out in the sun, and are then preserved in a number of different ways, including being turned into chili powder.
There are thousands of chili pepper varieties to chose from – If you thought that the common chili peppers you see in your local grocery store were the only ones available to you, you are in for quite a surprise. You see, there are thousands of varieties of chilies to choose from, due to the fact that chili plants can mutate very quickly, and subsequently, can produce different varieties of pepper.
The environment plays a key role in the finished product – Another fascinating fact about chili peppers, is that where and how they are grown, will determine how they look, taste, and smell. This means that water, soil quality, wind, altitude, and temperature, will all need to be considered before growing chilies. These environmental factors can all have an impact on determining how a chili will look, smell, and taste when it is ripe.
Birds are immune to capsaicin – Capsaicin is the compound found in chili peppers, that is responsible for giving them their distinct fiery and spicy taste. The greater the levels of capsaicin, the hotter the chili will be. All mammals are sensitive to capsaicin, but birds are completely immune. So, if you ever see a bird tucking into a Scotch Bonnet pepper, and showing no ill-effects at all, he isn’t a fan of spicy food, he simply is not impacted by the capsaicin found in the pepper.
Birds help spread wild chili peppers – While we’re on the subject of birds, many chili peppers can be found growing in the wild in hot countries, and birds are responsible for this. This is because they eat the entire chili pepper, seeds and all, and then fly away and go about their business and spread the chili seeds back into the ground again. So, we literally have bird droppings to thank for wild chilies.