Is all chilli spicy?

date:2019-07-18 views:890

It is a misunderstanding, really, that something that is a chilli must be spicy.

We tend to use the word in this way, but even some of the wild species are not pungent, and even within species, one can sometimes find non-pungent plants in some areas and pungent ones in other areas.

In fact, how hot the “pods” of a single chile pepper plant will get depends partly on its genetics, partly on the conditions while the chillies on that plant are growing and ripening. Because of this, one can sometimes find that some of the chile peppers on a single plant are very hot while others are not.

And then, of course, there are the “vegetable peppers” which are mild (because they do not produce capsaicinoids at all). These are still chilli plants and fruit in terms of their botany, but they are often seen as something other than chilli and, in many languages, even called by different names.

The English “bell pepper” is not very exact because there are also some hot chilli varieties called “bell”; German, for example, differentiates between the hot chilli pepper (“Chillipfeffer”) and the not-hot “Paprika.” Even here, though, there are varieties which are bigger than what is usually called chilli, but spicier than the “Paprika” they share their name with…

Even among the species Capsicum chinense, to which the habanero types belong, there are both superhot varieties and mild ones. So, that something looks like a habanero does not mean it must be hot! (It likely does, though, so be careful!)

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