Every Tuesday we cover the uses and qualities of our edible Click & Grow plants. This week we’ll look at Chili Pepper!
The chili pepper, also known as chile pepper or chilli pepper, is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum. It’s estimated that Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet since at least 7500 BC. Archaeological evidence at sites located in Southwestern-Ecuador suggest that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago. Astonishing!
The famous explorer Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1492, was one of the first Europeans to encounter Chili peppers. He called the encountered herbs "peppers" because they had a spicy hot taste similarly to the black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe.
Columbus played an important role in the spread of Chili peppers. For example, Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, was the first to bring chili peppers to Spain and the first to cover their medicinal effects in 1494. And from its introduction to Spain and Portugal, it wasn’t long until Chili pepper was introduced to Asian countries.
If you’d like your dishes to have a strong taste and you care about your health, use chili in your recipes. Interestingly, chili doesn’t have a taste of its own, but it’s an ideal way to emphasize the flavors of the different food components and thereby the overall taste experience.
Chili can be used to spice up dishes that include fish, meat, tacos, tortillas and rice. In addition it’s also suitable to vegetarian dishes which for example include beans, salads or tomatoes.
In the occasion where you over spiced the the food you can neutralize the flavor it by drinking milk, yogurt or surprise-surprise...alcohol.
Chili pepper has several interesting health benefits that make it a great fruit to „spice up“ your immune system! Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, has been found to relieve migraines and sinus headaches. Capsaicin is really a miracle worker as the heat it brings on helps to stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combating nasal congestion.
Moreover capsaicin is also a thermogenic and thermogenics increase the metabolism of the body’s adipose tissue which stimulates the body’s burning of fat. So if you want to lose some weight, grab a chili pepper!