Chili has become an integral part of the kitchen. The plant from the nightshade family originally comes from Central and South America and has the botanical name Capsicum annum. By the way, the substance capsaicin is responsible for the typical fiery spiciness of chilli.
General information about chilli
The discoverer of the fiery chilli was none other than Christopher Columbus. However, he made a small mistake in that he believed the chilli plant to be a relative of the pepper. For this reason, chili is still called “Spanish pepper” in many countries. There are well over a hundred different types of chilli, the most well-known types are:
The famous cayenne pepper has absolutely nothing to do with pepper and consists of chili!
Chili is healthy
Chili is widely used in medicine. For example, cayenne extract can be found in numerous heat patches against sore muscles and rheumatic complaints. The ingredient ensures that the blood vessels expand. This improves blood circulation, creates a feeling of warmth and alleviates pain.
Capsaicin also has a digestive effect and stimulates the metabolism enormously.
Chilli in the kitchen
With the Scoville unit, the degree of spiciness of chillies can be differentiated and defined. A lower Scoville rating also means a milder heat. If you want to use fresh chilli peppers for salads, you should only use moderately spicy varieties; for stews, casseroles, fiery sauces or goulash, a slightly higher degree of spiciness can be used.
Chilli should be dosed very carefully, especially when children are eating from the dish. When processing the fresh chili peppers, we recommend wearing disposable gloves, because even after washing your hands, some capsaicin can still stick to your fingers, which can lead to painful irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Chili can be used fresh, dried, pickled or ground. The pods can also be frozen well, provided the pips and partitions are removed beforehand. They don’t necessarily need to be blanched before freezing.
Of course, chilli can also be grown in the home kitchen or in the garden. The seeds are available from nurseries or online seed stores. Growing is relatively uncomplicated; the plants only need to be protected from frost.
Popular classic recipes are of course the world-famous chili con carne, fiery chili sauces, Indian curries or Italian pasta dishes.