Bell pepper simply is a sweet fruit in capsicum family. This fruit is also native to America like most of the pepper genus. It is widely cultivated as well as used in food in many countries around the world.
Why does the name of bell pepper?
Bell pepper is a sweet fruit compared to the other hot capsicum members because it’s the only one which does not produce capsaicin; a chemical causes the hot flavor to capsicum in common. The name of this type comes from the bell shaped of the fruit. It could have different colors from green (unripe fruit, except the permanent which maintains green color even when fully ripe), to yellow, orange (more mature than green fruit) or red (fully ripe fruit), or sometimes brown, white, lavender and dark purple. And the green and red bell peppers are the most popular type.
Nutrients and health benefits
As the capsicum pepper, beside a rich source of vitamin C, antioxidants, carotene and some other nutrients which are helpful in steadying the immunity, green and red bell pepper also have a high amount of para-coumaric acid, which is believed to reduce the stomach cancer risk. Red bell pepper contains the amount of carotene nine times higher and Vitamin C twice higher of green pepper.
For the flavor, green bell pepper is bitter and less sweet than yellow or orange pepper, and the red one is the sweetest. Bell peppers could be used fresh or cooked slightly and could make the dishes be more attractive in both color and taste.
The bell peppers could be cultivated in early or late season but the early season planting will give high quantity and quality. Although the taste of bell pepper could be different from the growing conditions and storage but if the fruit is full ripen on the plant, it will touch the sweetest flavor. The green fruit could be harvested and kept in storage to be ripen but will be less sweet.
Usage and storage
It could be kept up to 35-40 days at 0oC, with moisture 95%-98% and shorter at room temperature. But usually, after few days the outer of the fruit could be shrunk and the sweet could be reduced.
It is used widely in cuisine in all countries in the world. It is used with an ingredient in the dishes as fruit and vegetable to make the dishes to be tastier. Beside bell pepper is used to decorate the dishes by its color. For some cases it is used as decorative plant lovely.