Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers or peppers, are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other countries. The misleading name "pepper" was at that time applied in Europe to all known spices with a hot and pungent taste and so naturally extended to the newly discovered Capsicum genus. The Bell pepper is the only Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates capsaicin They are members of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. The color can be green, red, yellow, orange and more rarely, brown, white, lavender and dark purple. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest. Like many other "vegetables", bell peppers are botanically fruits.
Availability may vary by variety and with weather conditions.
Store unwashed in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
Include a damp towel to help reduce moisture loss
Do not cut out the bell pepper stem prior to storage in the refrigerator as it will speed up moisture loss.
Sweet peppers can be frozen without first being blanched and can be frozen whole
Wash under cold running water
Use a paring knife to cut around the stem and then gently remove it.
Cut the pepper in half lengthwise, clean out the core and seeds, place the skin side down on the cutting surface, cut into the desired size and shape.
Add chopped bell peppers to salads.
Added to tuna or chicken salads
Texture is perfect complement for dips
Part of the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking, 2 parts chopped onion, 1 part chopped celery, 1 part chopped bell pepper
Stuffed and baked whole
Use in stir fries and fajitas
Great on the grill