Likely brought to Europe from the Americas by Columbus in the late 15th century, the chilli pepper is a perennial shrub belonging to the Capsicum plant family. Rich in Vitamin C, it is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory par excellence, preventing infections and seasonal colds. It also has therapeutic and aphrodisiac qualities.
Chili pepper is a flavor-enhancer, adding a special touch to all dishes, and particularly to desserts and chocolate. It is also used for seasoning bruschetta, snacks, sauces and pasta dishes. Among its popular uses in Italian cuisine, the chili pepper or peperoncino, can be used for making a simple three-ingredient pasta sauce with olive oil, garlic and chili pepper, or penne all’arrabbiata, a quintessentially Roman pasta dish, as well as many preserves, including jam.
The pepper’s heat is typically measured by the Scoville scale and its corresponding unit of measurement—the SHU (Scoville Heat Unit). Its value ranges from 0-100 SHU attributed to a sweet pepper, to 16,000,000 SHU which is a pure substance called resiniferatoxin extracted from a Moroccan cactus and similar to the pure capsaicin, an active component present in chilies with a value between 15,000,000 and 16,000,000 SHU. The capsaicin is precisely what triggers the sensation of heat on one’s taste buds. However, the pepper’s quality is determined not by its heat level but rather, by its aromatic flavor (often preferred a little hot!).
Slowly sipping a glass of cold milk, eating yogurt or bread, especially breadcrumbs, are undoubtedly the best "remedies" for excessive heat!
Grown and packaged in Sicilia