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Bell Pepper

An Introduction
Bell pepper is a large, crisp, bell-shaped fruit of the pepper family. This cultivar of the species capsicum annuum is consumed in raw as well as in cooked form. Available in different bright colours ncluding red, yellow, green and orange, this sweet fleshed members of the pepper family is also cultivated as an ornamental plant in many parts of the globe.

A native to Northern-South America, Central America and Mexico, bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers". In 1493 traders carried pepper seeds to Spain and later they were introduced in other European and Asian countries. Even today, the list of major bell pepper producers is topped by Mexico.

 

As a Vegetable
When used as a vegetable, bell pepper adds a delicacy to every dish. It is one of the most popular salad ingredients of the world. This edible fruit of capsicum annuum also tastes well when cooked with other vegetables. It is an inseparable part of traditional Mexican recipes. In many countries, this cultivar of pepper is used to add spicy and distinctive flavour to the dish. In India, they are cooked with potatoes and other vegetables. It not only mixes well with vegetables only but also with meat dishes. Bell pepper chicken, mutton and beef are quite popular at all corners of the globe.

 

Bell Pepper in Different Languages
In majority of nations, this bell-shaped edible fruit is known by the names of "bell pepper" or "capsicum" or "pepper", irrespective of its colour. In Great Britain, it is termed as "pepper"; whereas in other Commonwealth of Nations countries, including India, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand, it is known as "capsicum".

The name for this fruit in French is "poivron"; whereas in the United States and Canada, the fruit is often referred to simply as a "pepper" or referred to by color (e.g. "red pepper", "green pepper"), although the more specific term "bell pepper" is understood in most regions.

 

Varieties
There are several cultivars of the bell peppers which are widely cultivated all across the globe. They are available in variety of colours, ranging from red, yellow, orange and green to the white and purple, depending on when they are harvested and the specific cultivar. Green peppers are unripe bell peppers, while the others are all ripe, with the color variation based on cultivar selection. Since green peppers are unripe, they are are less sweet and slightly more bitter than other cultivars.

Nutritional Value and Benefits
Besides being a a rich source of the Vitamin C, bell pepper also contains small quantity of Vitamin K

which is important in bone health. It contains lower concentrations of saturated fat and cholesterol. Bel peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin A and C, two very powerful antioxidants that may help to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases and several cancers.
 
 
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