Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet Peppers - History And Facts

Sweet peppers originated in South America and Mexico. Evidence of them dates as far  back as 5000 BCE. Some facts and history about the Jalapeno pepper's mild cousin:
  • Sweet peppers are in the same family as eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and deadly nightshade, a toxic plant. 
  • The first explorers of South America were from Portugal and Spain, and they carried sweet peppers to their native lands and around the world. 
  • The most common type of sweet pepper are bell peppers, so named because of their bell-like shape. They all can be eaten green, or for a sweeter taste they can be allowed to ripen.  Depending on the variety, fully ripened bell peppers can be red, yellow, brown, black, or orange.
  • The other type of sweet peppers come in a variety of colors and are shaped more like a banana.  
  • Bell peppers are not hot, even if you plant a bell pepper next to a hot pepper plant, the bell pepper will not cross with the hot pepper. But banana peppers can cross with hot peppers if the plants are too close together. 
  • Sweet peppers are very high in Vitamins C and A. These two antioxidants work together to break up free radicals which cause damage to cells.  Including sweet peppers in your diet can help prevent or reduce asthma symptoms, arthritis, diabetes-caused nerve damage, and other ailments. 
  • Peppers were named by Christopher Columbus, namely the hot varieties because they reminded Columbus of the heat of black peppercorns.
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