The origin of chilli peppers
Chilli peppers originate from South America, specifically Mexico, where they are cultivated and 9 000 years ago. On the soil of Europe, Columbus brought them during his journeys and discovering America, while Magellan chilli peppers brought on the ground of Asia and Africa, where it still grow, especially in India.
Today, the production of chilli peppers widespread throughout the world, and the great producers and users are CA, Louisiana and Carolina, states in America.
Chilli pepper is an essential seasoning in the Mexican cuisine, Indian as well as addition of Mediterranean cuisine.
Basic characteristics of chilli peppers
Chilli peppers belong to Capsicum family that even counted over 200 different species. By color are usually red, green, yellow and orange, but in hot taste, chilli peppers are categorized as: mild, medium and hot very hot. One of the very hot varieties of chilli peppers is naga jolokia, which confirmed that it so angry that can cause death cases.
Unlike other hot peppers, chilli pepper has spicy taste, not very aromatic and color is a little less intense than the classic hot peppers.
Hot taste of chilli peppers, comes from capsaicin, matter which gives the most concentrated in the inner central part of the pepper with seeds and white barriers.
Nutritional value of chilli peppers
The energy content of chilli pepper powder, for the most part made up of three components:
- 55% carbohydrates
- 17% fat
- 12% protein
The rest of ballast substances make up the fibber, phytosterols, lignans, lutein, lycopene, betaine.
As for vitamin composition, chilli peppers are rich in vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and vitamin B complex (riboflavin, thiamine, choline, and folate).
Mineral part of chilli peppers makes iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and calcium.
Health Benefits of chilli peppers
The main chemical ingredient in chilli peppers is capsaicin, which gives them a characteristic hot taste. In addition to these features, capsaicin also has proven healing properties.
Due to the acceleration of metabolic processes, specifically an increase in internal temperature, capsaicin helps in the regulation of body weight and helps in weight loss. It speeds up the metabolism and accelerates the burning of fat and carbohydrates and reduces their absorption from foods.
Also, capsaicin lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, preventing the various cardiac and vascular diseases.
Capsaicin from chilli peppers affects the blood clotting process, as it prevents platelet agglutination, dilutes the blood and prevents blood clotting.
Property of capsaicin is to act anti-inflammatory because it possesses mechanisms that block prostaglandins, mediators of inflammation.
Chilli peppers have a role in raising immunity and antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity.
It is effective in the treatment of disorders of the nerve; pain associated with migraine, psoriasis, reduces the pain in diabetic neuropathy.
External applications of capsaicin n the form of cream alleviates the pain to the skin caused by the herpes zoster, neuralgia or post-operative trauma associated with amputation.
To get rid of rheumatism and arthritis apply homemade creams made on the basis of chilli peppers.
For the end of the warning, the excessive amount of chilli can have an effect on the incidence of stomach cancer.
Shopping and storing chilli peppers
When purchasing, choose firm, shiny and smooth chilli peppers. Avoid those that are extremely soft, damaged or signs of spoilage. Wrap them in kitchen paper; put it in the refrigerator for a week.
Drying will preserve them longer; pass the thread through the stems and put them to dry in a warm place. Then they chopped or whole store in a glass jar with a lid in a cool, dark place.
In the market, peppers comes in fresh, dried (whole, minced, crushed), but also in canned form.
The use of chilli in the kitchen
Most often chilli is used as a seasoning for vegetable dishes, spicy sauces, spreads, in addition to cow's cheese, paprika stews and beans, and is an important ingredient of the popular Mexican cuisine Chilli con carne. It is an integral part of all spicy hot sauces, like curry, Tabasco sauce, and Mexican salsa. It can also be combined with sweet ingredients, like chocolate.
Given that most of chilli peppers have thick skin, it is good to be peeled off before preparation. You can do this by firing a number of ways - over an open fire, in the oven or a short soaking in hot oil. Put them afterwards in a plastic bag for 5-10 minutes to allow the skin easily peeled away.