The sweet chili pepper from its scientific name Capsicum chinense is a variety of pepper from the same family as that of hot peppers. The chili in general is native to South America. It was the Spaniards who introduced them to Europeans when they were endemic to the region of Mexico. At the time the pepper accompanied all the dishes of the Indians and they made fruit juice from it against ophthalmia and poultices of flowers on wounds.
It was around 1543 that the pepper was introduced in Europe as a condiment. It was subsequently introduced to the West Indies and is now cultivated throughout the tropics of the globe. Regarding the vegetarian pepper itself, it is a sweet pepper which has been cultivated for more than a century in Martinique. It is newer than the other chili known locally as “bondamanjak”.
To make no mistake, you will find that the vegetarian pepper has a much more elongated shape than the spicy pepper which is more rounded.
There are five varieties of peppers and over 1,200 species in the world. The five varieties are:
- Capsicum annuum
- Capsicum baccatum
- Capsicum chinense
- Capsicum frutescens
- Capsicum pubescens.
Vegetarian chili is part of the Capsicum chinense variety, the same as West Indian chili which is spicy.
Vegetarian chili is a small berry 3 cm long, with a thick pericarp (i.e. husk). Vegetarian peppers are elongated in shape and vary in color depending on their maturity. They can be green, yellow, orange, and red.
The Scoville scale created by Wilbur Scoville which classifies peppers according to their capsaicin content, namely the element that increases the explosiveness of peppers classifies it at the bottom of the scale, namely 100-500 when it goes to over 100,000.
The therapeutic virtues are very numerous. The pepper has antibacterial, choleretic (stimulates the secretion of bile) and anti-cholesterol properties. It acts on gastric stimulation. It has vitamin P-type vasculotropic activity. It inhibits the style of nosocomial enzymes in the liver and potentiates the action of certain drugs.
The chili also has a decongestant function.
Vegetarian chili, known to be fragrant and tasty to taste, is used in the preparation of many sauces. It can accompany or simply replace the hot pepper for those who are just looking for flavor and aroma without eating spicy. Also you will find it in sauces and marinades of meat or fish, acras, Creole sauce or sauce chien, soups, mixed salads, meat and fish stews.
Given its sweet taste can also be candied or be used to make ice cream, jam or jelly.