Peppers : which varieties for which use in the garden ?

There are twenty-five species of peppers. These are plants of the genus Capsicum and the family of Solanaceae. Five of them are domesticated, including Potatoes, of which there are different varieties such as capsicum, a sweet pepper consumed as a vegetable. As to hot peppers, they are rather used as condiments or to spice up a recipe. Here is a selection of the easiest-to-grow mild and medium-hot pepper varieties, and their main uses in the kitchen.

Classification of peppers on the simplified Scoville table

It is the level of capsaicin – a chemical compound of the family of alkaloids – which determines the hot peppers. This content, from 0 to 350,000, makes it possible to classify them on the Scoville scale. We find today “the simplified table of Scoville” which is used in the field of gastronomy and classifying the peppers from 0 to 10. The pepper (sweet pepper) is quite simply located at degree 0 of this table since it is totally devoid of capsaicin.

Before planting peppers in the garden, it is therefore better to check their capsaicin content (and therefore their Scoville classification) to avoid harvesting products that you may not be able to consume because they are considered too strong, too pungent or too hot.

Growing mild or low-spiciness peppers

In this category, we find at the forefront the pepper. It is a larger fruit vegetable than other peppers and well appreciated for its sweet flavor. Green, yellow, orange, red, peppers have tasty flesh. It is eaten raw, cooked or candied. You can taste it:

  • and salad,
  • In accompaniment,
  • Make us.

The pepper found for example in the famous ratatouille, also includes goulash but in the form of paprika (nicknamed the poor man’s pepper) since this spice is obtained from sweet red pepper. Pepper is also inseparable from couscous.

There are different peppers that are mild to medium-hot, that is to say, which sting very little. We can cite :

  • Espelette Pepper (AOP), a local variety of Potatoes with a warm flavor (classified at level 4). It is eaten fresh or dried, whole or powdered.
  • Poblano Pepper also called Ancho Pepper which does not have a high capsaicin content either.
  • Cayenne Pepper, very pungent, which is also a spicy red fruit. His strength is torrid and raises him to degree 8 of the simplified Scoville table.
  • Tabasco Peppervery strong since it occupies degree 9, is used to make the eponymous sauce.
  • Habanero Pepper (Capsicum chinense) is, for its part, classified in, degree 10 because of its explosive spiciness (350,000 on the Scoville scale).

Growing hot peppers

These are only for people who like extremely hot flavors. In the category of hot peppers, one can for example cultivate:

Very hot peppers (very strong) are used in marinades, can be added to salads and simmered dishes that you want to spice up, whether hot or cold dishes. Some varieties are real fireworks at the super hot flavor. In any case, it is essential to use them in small doses. You have to have a light hand so as not to distort a dish.

Reduced to powder, the peppers are integrated into different mixtures ofspices and/oraromatic herbs. Everyone can be inventive or draw inspiration from well-known associations in the field of gastronomy. But you must always respect the following rule: include chilli in a recipe at the end of cooking because the longer the cooking time, the stronger it is. Adding an ounce of chilli 10 minutes before stopping the cooking of a dish is enough. Beyond that, the dish may be inedible. For example, Chili con carne is very popular for its spicy note because the chilli is added at the right time and in the right amount.

It is in any case important to carefully select the species and varieties that you wish to plant in the garden so as not to waste either time or energy because, it must be admitted, the peppers richest in capsaicin have a spiciness that is difficult for most palates to bear and are even likely to harm the culinary preparations in which they are incorporated.

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