Miller's Stone
Martins Apple Chips
Kitchener Market 2017

Peppers, Hot

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Preview of Pepper, Hot

Available

August 15 - October 15

Harvest Period

August 15 - September 15

The Capsicum genus represents a diverse plant group, from the well known sweet green bell pepper to the fiery hot habanero chile. Peppers been known since the beginning of civilization in the Western Hemisphere where ancient Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and others took the wild chile, piquin, and selected for the dozens of types known today, placing peppers among the oldest culti­vated crops of the Americas.

The most obvious and desirable attribute of hot peppers is their pungency, or heat experienced in the mouth. Capsaicin is an alkaloid compound manufactured in the ribs of the chile pepper that is responsible for this pungency. Capsaicin itself doesn’t have any flavour, so rather than stimulating the taste buds, it stimulates the pain receptors in the mouth.

What to Look For

Firm, plump, shiny peppers, whether they are sweet or hot.  There should be no soft spots or cracks.

Cleaning and Preparation

Peppers simply need a quick scrub under cold running water before using them in myriad of ways. 

Hot peppers can cause burning or nasty irritations if your hands or fingers come in contact with eyes and other sensitive parts of the body. It is advisable to always wear gloves to protect your hands from the capsaicin and, if dried chiles are being ground, be aware that chile dust can fly up into your eyes.

Storage

Place peppers directly in the crisper section of the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze, wash and place whole peppers into freezer bags or containers. It is not necessary to blanch peppers before freezing.

Nutritional Information

Peppers provide more than heat and taste to foods. They also pack a powerful punch when it comes to being a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and C. Green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits, and are a very good source of fibre, folate, and vitamin K. Red peppers are simply ripened green peppers that have three times as much vitamin C as the green variet­ies and eleven times more beta carotene.

Hot peppers are even higher in vitamin C than their sweeter cousins and contain high levels of vitamins A and E. The capsaicin was employed by the Mayas and Aztecs to treat asthma, coughs, sore throats, and toothaches. Today, the pharmaceutical industry uses the same compounds in topical creams to alleviate pain in sore muscles, arthritis, shingles, headaches and more. The ability of capsaicin to prevent or even stop heart attacks by thinning the blood and preventing elevated blood pressure is perhaps one of its most important modern applications.

I small (45g) raw, hot pepper (green or red) provides 18 calories, 0g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fibre, and 1g protein.

How to Use

Peppers can be used in any appetizer, soup, or entree when some zest and pungency is required in a dish.  Hot chilies can even be used as a cooking vessel when they are stuffed with cheese and baked whole.

Varieties

Hot pepper varieties include Inferno, Hungarian Wax, Crimson Hot, Diablo Grande and Surefire.