Already five thousand years before Christ, the hot chili pepper also known as “the red gold of the table” found various applications among the populations of Central and South America. Thanks to Christopher Columbus, it immediately began to be appreciated and used also in our regions, not only as a spice, but also as a real natural medicine.
The hot chili pepper, belongs to the Capiscum genus and to the Solanaceae family and is represented by many varieties, depending on the places of cultivation and the degree of spiciness, expressed in Scoville degrees.
Hot peppers varieties
Among the most common species there is certainly the Capsicum anuum, which includes the red hot chili pepper which is the most common in Italy, the Cayenne pepper and the Mexican Jalapeno. Following, in order of importance, there are Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense (this variety includes the Habanero, which with the dorset Naga is among the hottest in the world), Capsicum frutescens (which includes Tabasco) and Capsicum pubescens.
The spiciness of the chili peppers is given by the alkaloid capsaicin (an active ingredient with numerous beneficial and phytotherapeutic properties), and is also related to four other natural substances, called capsaicinoids. Capsaicin, interacting with some thermo-receptors present in our body, in particular in the mouth and in the stomach, produces a burning sensation, without actually there being any increase in temperature. Popular tradition teaches that to counteract the burning, one should never drink water, but chew bread or drink milk instead.
The hot chili pepper finds various applications in the kitchen, thanks to its versatility: it is consumed fresh, dried, raw, cooked, and in oil, in all kinds of dishes, and even in some drinks. These different methods of use are also due to the benefits that its consumption entails.
Properties of the red hot chili pepper in olive oil
The chili pepper contains, in addition to capsaicin, resins, essential oils, carotenoids, cellulose, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, K, B, and L.
To underline is definitely the content of flavonoids, with their high antibacterial and antibiotic power, and of vitamin C, a highly detoxing substance. Thanks to its beneficial properties, the hot chili pepper promotes the production of enzymes that promote digestion; it is also an excellent vasodilator which makes capillaries elastic and contributes to the prevention of various cardio-vascular diseases, such as stroke, heart attack or arteriosclerosis.
It also produces stimulation of the nervous system, accelerating nerve conduction and activating the nerve centers of attention and mood.
To date, the study of hot chili peppers continues in order to foster its beneficial interaction with the body, in relation to the prevention and fight against cancer.
This plant is also used externally for its analgesic and therapeutic effect, and therefore it is considered important for the treatment of various diseases, such from back pain to rheumatism.
Thanks to vitamin E, moreover, the chili pepper is known for its amazing aphrodisiac properties (look also at our coursdely ground chili pepper called “Focu Salentino”), and its effectiveness found in the fight against extra pounds and to fight depression. Letter because it produces endorphins, substances responsible for regulating mood.
Hot chili pepper in oliveoil
This product is preserved in glass jars and made out of % red hot chili peppers, extra virgin olive oils and a pinch of salt. Ideal for cold and warm dishes, canapes and antipasti.