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Bell peppers

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Sweet peppers at Borough Market


Today, the term "sweet pepper", bell pepper" or "pepper" or "capsicum" is often used for any of the large bell shaped capsicum fruits, regardless of their colour. In the United States and Canada, the fruit is often referred to simply as a "pepper" or referred to by colour (e.g. "red pepper", "green pepper"), although the more specific term "bell pepper" is understood in most regions. It important to be aware that bell peppers are in fact fruits, even though most people think of them as vegetables.

The colour can be green, red, yellow, orange and, more rarely, white, purple, blue, and brown, depending on when they are harvested and the specific cultivar. Green peppers are unripe bell peppers, while the others are all ripe, with the colour variation based on cultivar selection. Because they are unripe, green peppers are not as sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow, orange, purple or red peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit that is harvested while still green and then artificially ripened during subsequent storage are less sweet.

Contents

Roasting peppers

Simple instructions for roasting and de-skinning peppers can be found here.

Pimientos del Piquillo de Lodosa

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Pimientos del Piquillo de Lodosa

Pimientos del Piquillo belong to the solanaceas family and its scientific name is Capsicum Annuum, L. Those which are DOP Lodosa are produced exclusively in the Lodosa area of Navarra, in northern Spain. It is an annual herbaceous plant which is sold fresh, preserved or for making paprika.

The pepper plant is first sown in seed beds and then transplanted into furrows in the ground in around May. It is constantly watered, fertilised and weeded throughout the spring and summer. Harvesting takes place, by hand, at weekly intervals from mid-September to November. When the peppers arrive at the factory, they are washed and roasted over a naked flame. They are then cored, peeled and de-seeded. With other types of pepper, this process is performed using water - only the Lodosa Piquillo is peeled without using water.

The peppers are sweet, with an intense red colour and are conically shaped. They are between 8 and 10 cm long, with a diameter of 4-6 cm and weigh from 35 to 50 g each. When they are preserved, they are only done so in their own juice - no water or brine is added.

Pimientos del Piquillo de Lodosa are available in the UK from Delicioso.co.uk and ThePaellaCompany.co.uk.

Sweet banana pepper

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A fairly small sweet red banana pepper

The banana pepper is a variety of Capsicum annuum and can be yellow, orange, red or green. Expect the flavour to be similar to sweet bell peppers unless specifically sold as chillies, in which case they are usually quite mild in heat. They grow easily in greenhouses and conservatories and make very attractive plants.

How much does one cup of sweet peppers weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Capsicum / Sweet Peppers chopped/diced
1
175 grams 6 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

Seasonal Information: Bell peppers

This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.

Bell peppers are at their best and in season during the following months: August, September & October.

Bell peppers: What portion size makes one of my 5 a day vegetables?

Select Bell peppers from the drop-down selector below to find out what constitutes one portion of your 5-a-day vegetable program.

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3 heaped tablespoons of tinned Ackee
2 Globe Artichoke hearts
7 spears of tinned asparagus
5 spears of fresh asparagus
One third of an Aubergine/Eggplant
3 heaped tablespoons of barlotti beans
3 heaped tablespoons of black-eyed beans
3 heaped tablespoons of broad beans
3 heaped tablespoons of butter beans
3 heaped tablespoons of cannellini beans
4 heaped tablespoons of French beans
3 heaped tablespoons of kidney beans
3 heaped tablespoons of pinto beans
4 heaped tablespoons of runner beans
3 heaped tablespoons of soya beans
2 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
3 whole bottled beetroot
3 whole fresh baby beetroot
2 spears of broccoli
8 Brussels sprouts
3 heaped tablespoons of butternut squash
2 handfuls of sliced cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of shredded cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned carrots
3 heaped tablespoons of fresh carrot slices
8 florets of cauliflower
3 sticks of celery
3 heaped tablespoons of chickpeas
One fifth of a head of Chinese leaves
Half a large courgette
5 cm (2 inch) piece of cucumber
4 heaped tablespoons of curly kale
Half a karela (bitter melon)
1 leek (white portion only)
3 tablespoons of lentils
1 cereal bowl of lettuce (mixed leaves)
1 handful of mange-tout
3 heaped tablespoons of marrow
3 tablespoons of frozen mixed vegetables
14 mushrooms
2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms
16 medium Okra
1 medium Onion
3 heaped tablespoons of pak choi (Chinese cabbage)
1 large Parsnip
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned peas
3 heaped tablespoons of fresh peas
3 heaped tablespoons of frozen peas
Half a tinned sweet pepper
Half a bottled sweet pepper
Half a fresh sweet pepper
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned pigeon peas
3 heaped tablespoons of pumpkin
10 Radishes
2 heaped tablespoons of cooked spinach
1 cereal bowl of fresh spinach leaves
4 heaped tablespoons of cooked spring greens
8 spring onions
1 handful of sugar snap peas
3 heaped tablespoons of swede
1 large sweet potato
6 baby sweetcorn
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned sweetcorn
1 whole sweetcorn cob
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
2 whole tinned plum tomatoes
1 whole fresh tomato
7 fresh cherry tomatoes
3 heaped tablespoons of turnip
150ml glass of unsweetened vegetable juice
150ml glass of vegetable smoothie
1 cereal bowl of fresh watercress

5 a day: See also

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