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Peppers

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A world of Peppers and intense flavors

Many different types of peppers are part of the Capsicum family, which contain both the peppers and the hot and spicy varieties, often referred to as chilli peppers. The heat of a pepper is measured using Scoville heat units (SHU), and this scale ranges from 0 (the bell pepper) to the X pepper measured at 3,000,000 Scoville units.

What types of peppers and peppers are there?

Peppers come in all shapes and sizes. Let's start with large peppers that appear in a rainbow of colors (green, red, orange, yellow and more). Because of their size and mild-sweet taste, they are perfect to fill, but they are also incredibly versatile and add flavor to any dish in which they are used. From the bell peppers, we go to the hotter variants such as the Italian deep-fry pepper. This light green-yellow pepper is long, has a slight wrinkle on its thin skin and is widely used in kitchens in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Cherry peppers or Pimento (or Pimiento) are red, heart-shaped peppers that are mild, sweet and smell like a spiced red pepper. They are usually found as a powder in pots and can add a sweet pepper flavor to a dish that looks like roasted red peppers.

From mild peppers to hot peppers

Jalapeños are the king of spicy peppers. Because of their popularity and availability, they are very popular. They are spicy, but also very tasty. furthermore, you have the hotter red peppers such as the Cayenne and Fresno pepper that look like red jalapeño, but they are generally spicier. The Serrano pepper is a long, thin red pepper with a clean, sharp punch without too much heat. And finally, there are different types of Thai pepper which are very spicy for a small pepper. They are usually added to flavor soups and stews.

Note the heat of spicy peppers

Be warned that the heat can still vary from pepper to pepper. One jalapeño can taste milder compared to the other. And a quick tip for those who can't handle the heat: take some dairy, such as yogurt or milk, to combat the spicy heat. If you want to limit the spiciness, remove the pepper seeds and the whitish ribs before you use it.

Pepper in powder form: a handy alternative in the kitchen

Nowadays, there are good quality powder varieties which are organic and natural. Because they come in a jar it is so easy to add some spiciness to a dish. A pinch of Cayenne pepper adds a world of flavor to a meat dish or a pasta.

The sharp and tasty pepper and chili powders from HolyFlavours

The HolyFlavours brand has ensured that the intense taste of chili peppers is now also available in powder and granulated form. The crushed Chili's are ground peppers in various variations of spiciness. They also have a milder chili pepper which is suitable for children. If you really want some more bite, there are also ground peppers that have a higher SCU. The products of HolyFlavours are always of the best quality and the ingredients are guaranteed free from all sorts of additives or artificial flavors.

Get started yourself with pepper seeds and a pepper plant

Are you planning to grow bell peppers or spicy peppers this season? That is great! Because they are packed with amazing taste and nutritions. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you harvest your best pepper plants.

Prepare the earth well

The right soil can make a difference in how well peppers perform. Choose a sunny, well-drained place that has not been cultivated recently. The soil must be deep, rich and loamy. Do not add too much nitrogen to the soil. Excessive nitrogen can cause the pepper plants to grow too quickly, making them more susceptible to diseases and less productive.

Make sure the pepper seeds are hard enough

Before you plant the pepper seeds, you must harden them by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions. This process helps the seeds to adjust so they are better prepared when you plant them. This will mean larger, more productive pepper plants.

Planting

Peppers love warmth, so wait until the night temperatures are constant and all the risk of frost has disappeared. Plant your peppers, if possible, on a cloudy day to reduce sun exposure to your plants. Place the plants 12 to 20 centimetres apart, depending on the full-grown size of the species, and set them a little deeper than normal. Just like tomatoes, extra roots grow from the buried part of the stem. Stop or cage larger groups of plants so that the stems do not break in strong winds or as a result of heavy fruit. After you have planted them, give them some water.

Consider the good watering of your pepper plants

Make sure that the pepper plants receive at least a centimetre of water a week during the growing season. Check the peppers often during periods of extreme heat and drought. If you live in a very hot, dry region, add a thick layer of mulch to maintain soil moisture and moderate the soil temperature. But only do this after your soil has warmed up. By mulching cool soil it will stay cool and hinder the growth of the pepper plants.

Cut the first flowers

How strange it may seem, cut off any early blossoms that appear on your pepper plants. This does not harm the plants. In fact, it helps them to focus their energy on growing so that you get many large fruits (and higher overall yield) later in the season instead of a few small fruits early on. Harvest your peppers! You can harvest the peppers in their unripe green or purple phase, but the taste is sweeter if you wait until they reach their adult color (usually red, but sometimes golden yellow or orange). Carefully cut the peppers with a garden scissor. If you pull them off by hand, the plant may be damaged. Then enjoy your delicious peppers and use them immediately in a well-filled salad or with a meat dish.