Etymology: the name Capsicum derives from the Latin word capsula, diminutive of capsa (itself derived from the Greek) and indicates a container, referring to the shape of the fruit which resembles a box containing the seeds. According to other studies, it derives from the Greek word kapto or bite, with obvious reference to the spicy taste that 'bites' the tongue when eating.
Description: The plant is similar to the sweet pepper, but unlike the latter it produces particularly spicy fruit due to the presence of an active ingredient called capsicin.
The stem is erect and the leaves are lanceolate to oval with a stalk. The flowers are white. Flowering takes place in late spring-summer and the fruits, which vary in shape and colour depending on the species and cultivar, are fleshy, hollow berries.
Habitat: native to Mexico and Central America, it is now cultivated almost all over the world. It requires exposure to sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil.
Parts used: fruits.
Method of preservation: The fruit is dried in the shade, in a warm, dry and well-ventilated place or in a drying room so as to preserve the aroma and prolong its preservation.
Use in the kitchen: spicy aroma par excellence, widely used to flavour first courses (spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino, pasta all'arrabbiata), but also meat and fish dishes, cold meats and cheeses, sauces, soups, pulses and much more.
Medicinal properties: Contains high amounts of vitamins C, Bi, B2, PP, provitamin A and the spicy substance capsaicin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties and aids digestion by increasing the secretion of gastric juices. Effective in treating colds, sinusitis and bronchitis.
Weight per pack: 30gr