WHAT IS A BELL PEPPER?
This fruit, also called capsicum, is a member of the nightshade family. They come in a rainbow of colors including red, yellow, orange and even chocolate brown. In general with fruits and vegetables, green is a sign of youth. And with many bell pepper varietals (not all), as it ages on the vine bell peppers change color. Red ones are the most mature and so the sweetest. However while bell peppers will continue to ripen after picking, they don’t change color. This is why red ones stay on the vine the longest and are more expensive.
WHY ARE BELL PEPPERS GOOD FOR YOU?
Made up mostly of water, these fruits are a good source of fiber and vitamin A, B6, C, E and K1. They also contain potassium and folate.
WHEN ARE BELL PEPPERS IN SEASON?
In North America this late summer crop is grown in warmer markets like Florida, California and Texas up until September. In the winter they are imported from South America where the growing season is reversed (December through February).
HOW SHOULD BELL PEPPERS BE STORED?
Storing them in a paper bag will accelerate the ripening process. However when they are close to where you want them, refrigerate your peppers with a dry paper towel in a plastic bag. If you change out the paper towel (to prevent rot) they should keep for 1 to 2 weeks.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT A BELL PEPPER?
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ARE THE BELL PEPPERS IN YOUR GARDEN HAVING SEX?
Well, only with themselves since one plant has both male and female sexual organs. There is an urban myth that on the bottom of a bell pepper, 3 lobes means it’s a male and 4 lobes a female. Furthermore the ladies supposedly have a lot more seeds and taste sweeter then the guys. This is false but endearing (much like the evil avocado pit urban myth that is so awesome it should be true!)