Green Peppers Day
annually on August 5th
Green peppers, known as green bell peppers or green sweet peppers, have their day today. There are other colors of bell peppers, like red, yellow, and orange, but just the green are celebrated today. Although considered vegetables in the culinary world, they actually are fruit. They are part of the Grossum cultivar group of the Capsicum annuum species, which are part of the Solanaceae family, or nightshades. Native to the tropics of the Americas, they were introduced to Europe and Asia by Spanish and Portoguese explorers in the late fifteenth century. They spread from there and are now grown around the world.
Green peppers have dark, glossy skin that is smooth and firm. They are juicy and crisp to the bite, and mildly bitter, not as sweet in flavor as other bell peppers. But, along with other bell peppers, they are not hot like other peppers: they don't have capsaicin and are the lowest pepper on the Scoville scale. Their flesh is thick, and besides the membrane and seeds, their interior is hollow. Green peppers are high in vitamin C. They contain carotenoids, a colorful antioxidant, and are a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, folic acid, and fiber. They have no fat and are low in calories.
Green peppers have a mild flavor and are versatile in the kitchen. They can be eaten raw or cooked. When raw, they can be cut up and eaten with a veggie dip or hummus, top a salad or sandwich, or be used to make pico de gallo or salsa. When cooked, the possibilities of their use are almost endless. They can be baked, roasted, grilled, and prepared in other ways and used in many dishes. Stuffed peppers and pepper steak are common pepper dishes. They are used in casseroles, put on pizzas, sautéed with sausage, to make stir fry, or roasted and put over pasta. Along with celery and onions, green peppers are part of the holy trinity, a variation of the French mirepoix that is used in Cajun and Creole cooking. It is used as a base for gumbos, soups, stews, jambalaya and crawfish étouffée. Mmm, Green Peppers Day sounds tasty!
How to Observe Green Peppers Day
Celebrate by eating green peppers! There are many ways you could do so:
- Cut them up and have them raw, perhaps with veggie dip or hummus.
- Put them on top of a salad or sandwich.
- Have some tortilla chips and pico de gallo.
- Make pepper steak, sautée green peppers with sausage, or make another stir fry with green peppers.
- Make a homemade pizza and cover it with green peppers.
- Make a roasted pepper pasta dish.
- Make stuffed peppers, stuffed pepper soup, or stuffed pepper casserole.
You could also grow your own green peppers so you'll have more to eat in the future!