Capsicum annuum L.

Common names: Cayenne pepper, Bell pepper, Paprika Pepper; Americans call it chili, Spanish (chile) and British (chilli)

Capsicum annuum L. is  the most common and the most extensively cultivated species of pepper, with the most diversity of shapes and sizes. The cultivated varieties classified under C. annuum can be divided into two main groups,

The mild to sweet peppers: includes: Bell Pepper, Paprika, Banana Pepper, Cubanelle or cuban pepper, Pimento and Anaheim peppers.

The medium to hot peppers: includes Cayenne, Serrano, Chile de arbol, Jalapeño, New Mexico Chili, Numex, Peter Pepper, Hungarian Wax Pepper.

Capsicum annum L

Use of Capsicum annum peppers

The various cultivated varieties of capsicum pepper are used extensively in Indian, Thai, Korean, Chinese, European, Latin American and African cuisines for curries, stews, soups, sauces, salads, stir-fries, pot roasts, grilled meats, roasted meats, just to mention a few.

Some of them are also dried and ground, and used in seasoning or as ingredients in various spice blends, or dried whole, and later rehydrated and used in cooking.

Dried hot peppers like cayenne are crushed and used to produce Red pepper flakes, used in seasoning or in pepper shakers especially in American Pizza Parlours and Restaurants.

The sweet peppers like bell pepper have a very high vitamin C content and are used in cooking, as well as salads.

Capsicum annum L

Here are the common cultivars and their Scoville Heat Units (SHS)

Hot Peppers

  • Numex (30,000-50,000),
  • Cayenne (30,000-50,000),
  • Chile de árbol (50,000-65,000),
  • New Mexico Chili (0-70,000),

Medium Hot Peppers

  • Hungarian wax pepper (1,000-15,000),
  • Jalapeno (2,500-10,000),
  • Peter Pepper (10,000-23,000),
  • Serrano (10,000-25,000)

Mild to sweet peppers:

  • PaprikaPoblano (1,000-1,500),
  • Cubanelle or Cuban Pepper (1000),
  • Banana pepper (0-500),
  • Pimento (cherry pepper) low rating,
  • Anaheim (500-5,000)
  • Bell pepper (0)

Aesthetic Peppers

There are also a few aesthetic peppers like the Bolivian Rainbow, and the Black Pearlbred by the US National Herbarium.

What is the Scoville Scale?

The amount of heat in hot pepper is measured by the Scoville scale, which measures the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers, recorded in Scoville heat units. The units range from 0 (Bell pepper); 100-900 (Paprika, Pimento); 3,500-10,000 (Chipotle, Jalapeño); 30,000-50,000 (Cayenne, Tabasco), 100,000-350,000 (Habanero, Scotch bonnet) to 2,000,200 (Carolina Reaper). Last Updated: 12 July, 2019

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

3 thoughts

    1. I use pepper every single day to cook everything: freshly ground black pepper, dried chilli flakes, Jalapeño, Tabasco sauce, and of course the famous bell peppers. They’re loaded with vitamin C. The best source of vitamin C, ever. Have a great week!

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