Origins of Capsicum
Capsicum is a genus of pepper that is round and glossy in shape. You may know the Capsicum pepper as bell pepper or just a pepper, being the most common type of pepper in supermarket shelves in the UK. Capsicum peppers have different names depending on their cultivation origins. Capsicum variants that are spicy are colloquially known as chilli peppers, and those with a mild or sweet flavour are called bell peppers. The name capsicum originates from the Greek word kapto meaning to bite or to swallow. Most Capsicum peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin, a compound that can dissolve in lipids. The natural chemical is found in chilli peppers but not in bell peppers.
Capsicum is sourced from Capsicum frutescens, a shrub that grows to a maximum height of just 1m. The shrub produces white flowers amongst densely branched foliage, preferring sub-tropical climates with partial shade. The pepper was originally grown in Mexico for and has many traditional uses.