In the U.S., sweet bell peppers are by far the most popular, but hot peppers such as jalapeno, cayenne and chilis are growing in popularity.
We offer several varieties of both hot peppers and bell peppers in our Homegrown Gourmet line of veggies.
Hot - Ancho Villa, Cajun Belle, Cayenne, Garden Salsa, Habanero, Hungarian Hot, Jalapeno, Serrano Chili, Super Chili, Thai Hot, Zavory
Sweet/Bell - Big Bertha, California Wonder, Fooled You Jalapeno, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Ivory Bell, Lady Bell, Purple Beauty, Red Bell, Romanian Sweet, Sweet Banana, Valencia Orange, Yellow Bell
Originating in Central and South America, peppers have been a part of the diet in this region since around 7500 BC and were domesticated between 5200 and 2400 BC, becoming one of the first cultivated crops of the Americas.
Discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean, peppers were so named because of the similarity in taste with the Old World spice of the same name. Through commerce and trade, the pepper quickly spread to Europe, the Philippines, India, China and Japan where it was incorporated into the local cuisines.
In general, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins and vitamin B6, in particular, as well as being high in potassium, magnesium and iron. Red chiles are also rich in vitamin C and vitamin A.
The substance that gives peppers their heat is called capsicum, the primary ingredient in pepper spray. The heat of peppers is measured in Scoville Units; Bell Peppers rank at zero Scoville units, Jalapenos at 3,000-6,000 units, and Habaneros at 300,000 units.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the pepper with the highest number of Scoville units is the Red Savina Habanero, measuring 577,000 units.