Wednesday's in the Know: The Rainbow of Bells. What’s the Difference from One to the Next?
I absolutely love bell peppers but have a strong affinity toward the orange, yellow and red variety. Green bell peppers really don’t do much for me as they tend to be bitter and, quite frankly, don’t offer any level of “excitement.”
Let’s Back up a Second. What are bell peppers?
- Bell peppers are members of the Nightshade family of vegetables along with potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants.
- Like chili peppers, bell peppers originated in South America where seeds of a wild variety are believed to date back to 5,000 B.C.
- The various colored bell peppers all come from the same plant, but differ in their level of maturity. – The World’s Healthiest Foods
What’s the Difference Between Green, Yellow, Orange and Red Varieties?
- Bell peppers, as it turns out, all start on the same path or journey toward fruition.
- Green bell peppers are the first to be picked, hence why they lack the same level of sweetness as our orange, yellow and red varieties. This is also why green bell peppers are less expensive.
- Yellow, orange and red bell peppers (picked in that order) are left to mature on the vine becoming even sweeter as their color changes from yellow to orange and then red.
- The same concept applies to tomatoes that are used for fried green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are under-ripened tomatoes that are picked (harvested) early in their life cycle, while they are still green. If we left them on the vine to continue to ripen, they would eventually turn red while simultaneously getting juicier and sweeter. Is there anything better?
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