White Bell Peppers
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White bell peppers are small to medium in size, averaging seven centimeters in length and five centimeters in diameter, and are rounded, square, and slightly uneven in shape with 3-4 lobes and a thick green stem. The smooth skin is firm, glossy, and pale white to ivory, almost appearing translucent when young, transforming to a faint yellow. Depending on the variety, if allowed to remain on the plant, the white pepper may turn to green, orange, or red with full maturity. Underneath the skin, the pale-yellow flesh is thick, juicy, crisp, and succulent, with a hollow cavity that contains very small, flat and bitter cream-colored seeds and a thin, spongy membrane. White bell peppers have an aqueous crunch with a mild, sweet flavor.
White bell peppers are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer.
White bell peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are a rare variety of edible fruits that can be grown both as an annual or perennial and belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Many White bell pepper cultivars are heirloom varieties, meaning they have been around since before World War II and are open-pollinated while others are hybrids. Unlike the more uniform, greenhouse-grown, white Holland bell peppers, White bell peppers are grown outdoors in a variety of conditions. While this variety is difficult to find in the commercial marketplace, White bell peppers are favored by home gardeners and local farms for their ease of growth, high yields, unusual coloring, and sweet flavor.
White bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain some vitamins A, E, K, and B6, fiber, manganese, potassium, copper, and folate. Due to the lack of pigment, the peppers also offer small amounts of carotenoids, which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
White bell peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as grilling, roasting, sautéing, and baking. The peppers can be consumed fresh and are often sliced for vegetable plates, tossed into a salad, layered on sandwiches, or chopped into grain bowls and salsa. White bell peppers can also be stir-fried, grilled on skewers, stuffed with meats and cheeses, used as a pizza topping, mixed into pasta, cooked down and pureed into a sauce, or added to soups, stews, and casseroles. White bell peppers pair well with tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, ginger, cumin, oregano, cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, basil, poultry, pork, beef, fish, tofu, seafood, white beans, black beans, rice, quinoa, and faro. The peppers will keep up to five days when stored unwashed in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Bell peppers are also commonly referred to as sweet peppers due to their lack of capsaicin, the compound present in the inner membranes of the pepper that is responsible for the spiciness in hot peppers. It also helps differentiate them from their spicier cousins. In Australia, bell peppers are called Capsicums after their genus name.
Bell peppers are native to tropical America and have been growing since ancient times. While the exact origins of White bell peppers are unknown, bell peppers were introduced to Asia and Europe via Spanish and Portuguese explorers around 1493, and since then new varieties and heirloom varieties have been cultivated across the world. Today White bell peppers are most often grown by smaller, local farms and can be spotted at local farmer’s markets, specialty grocers, and grown in home gardens in North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Recipes that include White Bell Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Let's Eat Smart||Stuffed White Bell Peppers|
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