Organic spicy chilli pepper: plant of the month
04 June 2018
Chilli pepper is one of the most popular spices in cooking as it is rich in properties and can enhance the flavour of many dishes.
It has a very lengthy history and is thought to be at least 9000 years old! Chilli pepper has its origins in the pre-Columbian period and was present in the Olmec, Toltec, Aztec, Inca and Maya civilisations. From archaeological findings, we have evidence of its use in Mexico and Peru where it was used as a currency of exchange as well as a staple food for seasoning dishes and, in the absence of modern refrigeration systems, for preserving foods.
Its early name, during its very lengthy history, was “aji”; then, upon its arrival in Europe, loaded into the holds of Christopher Columbus's caravels, it initially took the name of Capsicum annuum, Spanish pepper and Siliquastrum. Only from the end of the seventeenth century was the name changed to chilli pepper and has remained so until our times.
The chilli pepper belongs to the Solanaceae family of which there are about 35 species also including the giant version known by the name of capsicum: the cultivation of this vegetable has many diversities in shape and colour. The most widely grown species in Italy is the Capsicum anuum with small, sweet and spicy fruits. The spiciness is determined by some substances which stimulate pain receptors on the tongue and mucosa of mammals. It is curious that some animals are immune to them, such as birds.
The use of organic chilli pepper
Over the space of many years, spicy chilli pepper has been involved in numerous areas of human life: from cooking to medicine to beauty and even to magic and superstition. One of its most frequent uses is definitely as seasoning in cooking as it is perfect when added to pasta with oil, or on pizza. Due to its particular flavour it can also be combined with sweet foods such as chocolate or in the classic version added to boiled vegetables or beans.
Simonato has for many years cultivated organic spicy chilli pepper and it is currently on sale in our stores. We collect the fruits when they are ripe and extract the seeds which are then placed back into the organic soil, giving life to a new plant. During the warm period of the year, from mid-June to the end of September, small white flowers firstly bloom, which then transform into green fruits and, when ripened, red fruits.
The organic spicy chilli pepper plants are cultivated by Simonato following the strict protocol established by European regulations on Organic agriculture and the Company's ICEA certification confirms its compliance with the regulations, together with the complete absence of pesticides, chemical substances and GMO. Chilli pepper is a real note of originality in the aromatic plant market and, with the attractive bag, it is of great interest to all organic aromatic plant enthusiasts both in Italy and abroad.