What makes chili peppers taste hot?

Chili is the Mexican name for a “hot” red pepper used to flavor foods such as tamales and stewed meat dishes called chili con carne.

Chili peppers get their hot, biting taste from a spicy sap, or resin, that the pepper fruit makes while it is growing.  Many people get used to this strong, burning taste and enjoy it.

Hot Taste

Chili peppers belong to the family of red pepper plants called “Capsicums,” which includes cayenne peppers, paprika and tobacco peppers.

Still another kind of Capsicum pepper is the large, mild-tasting bell pepper much used in salads.

Chili peppers grow on shrubby plants that may be two-to four feet tall.

The peppers are green till they ripen.  When fully ripe, they are a fiery red.  Some variety of red pepper is grown on almost every continent.  Red peppers are not related to ordinary black peppers except by taste. – Dick Rogers

 

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