Sweet peppers come in a variety of colors. With few exceptions, all peppers start out as green peppers. The red, yellow and orange peppers all started out green and then changed color as they ripened. The ripening process can take time and peppers often rot before they change color completely. This is why green peppers are cheaper to buy. Some people have a hard time digesting green peppers, but can often eat other colored peppers since ripening starts the process of breaking down the pepper.
Peppers are very cold sensitive and require a long growing season to fully ripen. This is why some years it is hard to get anything but green peppers here in Pennsylvania. Planting peppers in passive solar greenhouses helps speed them along. Some seasons we plant a greenhouse in peppers to ensure there is a ripe crop. We can't do this every year since we rotate crops to prevent disease and insect build up.
Hot peppers are not for the faint of heart. Personally, I don't like food that hurts - but to each his own. We grow several varieties of hot peppers from the moderately hot Hungarian hot wax pepper to the crazy hot Hinkelhartz pepper. The seeds and inner ribs are the hottest part of the pepper so be sure to remove them if you don't want things too hot. Always be careful when handling hot peppers. The oil (even from an uncut pepper) can burn your skin, eyes and nose. It is best to wear rubber gloves when cutting them and always wash your hands well after any contact.
Store in a plastic bag in your refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Hot peppers can be dried for use later.
- Sweet peppers are great raw. Use in salads or as a snack.
- Add to stir-fries, soups or burritos.
- Saute with onions in olive oil for a great sandwich topping.