Chili Pepper - also called Chili, chile, chilly, chily, Mirchi, chile pepper, Aji, Paprika
Chili is the fruit of plant belonging to Capsicum genus. Chili is one of the most spices garnishing dishes.
Family : Solanaceae Genus : Capsicum
Species : Capsicum annum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum chinense
Chili is fruit of plants belonging to Capsicum genus and Solanaceae family. Capsicum is derived from the Greek word "Kapsimo" meaning "to bite." When eaten, it gives a burning sensation.
Chili originates from South America. In search of spices, Christopher Columbus set his journey from Portugal. However, Christopher Columbus landed in South America. He found that the origins of South America used chili. Columbus named them as "peppers" because they were similar in taste as black peppers. After the discovery of the spice, chili replaced black pepper as prime spices in the culinary.
When chili pepper was brought to Spain, Dieogo Alvarez Chanca, a Spanish physician found that chili had medicinal value. Chili was believed to cure disease and used as pain killers. From Spain, chili spread to rest of Europe and soon spread to South Asian countries like India and China. Chili was introduced to India by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco-da-Gama who landed in 20th May, 1498. Chili was introduced in China and spread further to Japan. Soon chili was accepted as important spice in the local cuisines.
Chili is an indispensable spice used as basic ingredient in everyday cuisine all over the world. The chili powder is made by crushing the dried chili having chili flakes and chili pods. The chili powder began to be used to different countries.
The pungency of the chill is measure in Scoville scale. The hotness of the chili is because the capsaicin present actually in the inner membrane placenta of the chili and not in the chili pods and chili flakes as commonly believed. Named after the scientist Wilbur Scoville, the Scoville scale measures the hotness of the chili. The pure capsaicin is 16,000,000 Scoville units. The hot chili Red Savina habanero has 580,000 Scoville units. The hottest chili on the Earth is called "Naga Jolokia" found in Tezpur laboratory by the scientist. It is also called Bih Jolokia meaning "Bih-poison" "Jolokia-chili pepper". Tezpur Chili is said to be 855.000 Scoville units of capsaicin.
There are many common species of chili including bell peppers, paprika, jalapenos, scotch bonnets, rocoto peppers, aji peppers, habanaeros, cayenne, and tabasco peppers. Here are the different varieties of chili belonging to the common of species:
- Capsicum annum
Bell peppers, paprika, early, New Mexican, jalapenos, Cubanelle, Charleston hot cayenne, Fresno Chile, pimento, Bulgarian carrot chili, Peter pepper, ornamental piquin, tepin, Thai hot, and chiltepin.
- Capsicum frutenscens
Cayenne and tabasco peppers -.
- Capsicum chinense
Habaneros, Fatalii, and Scotch bonnets -
- Capsicum pubescens
- Capsicum baccatum