In the first issue of Roots magazine, we start sharply. Literally. The spicy and hot fruits of chilli are becoming more and more popular even among the Czechs, so we did not hesitate to take the opportunity to start a series on these devilish peppers with one of the most professional, Michal Jakeš from chilliseeds.cz. We hope that you will not curse us with tears in your eyes after eating some of the varieties we present to you.
A sharp series begins
In our first article, we will focus on chilli in general. We will explain the basic concepts to complete beginners and introduce this plant as such. We will focus on specific types and various tips in other parts of our series.
Generally about Chilli
Chili peppers are the fruit of mostly exotic species of bushy peppers that grow in tropical and subtropical regions of our planet, such as India, China, Vietnam, Africa, Mexico and South America. Today, however, their cultivation has spread throughout the globe. Various festivals and competitions are held in the cultivation and tasting of chillies and chilli dishes. Chilli also quickly became familiar with Czech cuisine. Today, you can prepare truly authentic Indian, Mexican or any other exotic cuisine at home. The raw materials needed for this are already available in our country. Not to mention that you can grow almost any type of chili pepper yourself in your garden or balcony, or as a houseplant.
History of Chilli
The first surviving data on chilli are from the 7th millennium BC. After the discovery of America, many varieties quickly spread around the world thanks to sailors. They are extremely popular in India, where they are still an integral part of their traditional cuisine. Chilli came to Europe from this area via the Ottoman Empire.
Health and Chilli
The basic substance that chili contains is capsaicin. This substance causes the first sensations after ingestion and it is a feeling of warmth and burning. Research shows that capsaicin helps lipolysis (fat burning). With capsaicin, energy is released after burning fat, which sends a signal to the brain that the body is full and does not need to eat any more food. Capsaicin (chili peppers) is very suitable for slow and weak digestion, heavy stomach, flatulence, convulsions, inflammation of the gastric mucosa, improves peristalsis (emptying). It also acts as a natural antibiotic, lowers blood sugar levels, has an antioxidant and anti-cancer effect.
Peppers contain a large amount of minerals, vitamins C, B1, B2, E, A, beta-carotenes and flavonoids. Chilli can also be called a natural aphrodisiac.
The burning of chili and products made from it
Chili peppers are mainly divided according to hotness. Here, the designation SHU is used, which means Scoville heat units. According to his own tests, this chemist compiled this scale in 1912. The scale ranges from 100 to 16,000,000 SHU. The highest value belongs to pure capsaicin. It currently has the hottest pepper in the world, Moruga Scorpion Red (Trinidad Moruga Scorpion), just over 2,000,000 SHU. In our table of hotness, we list the Carolina Reaper variety as hotter, but it is still very unstable and its hotness is greatly influenced by growing conditions.
The scale can be described as follows. 100 - 5000 SHU are basically sweet peppers with mild hotness. 10,000 - 50,000 SHU is already medium hot, but still bearable. 100,000 - 300,000 the flammability is already high. When consuming, you need to be a lover of spicy foods and have some experience. Everything above 500,000 SHU is already extremely hot. Assessment is, of course, very individual, what a person thinks. Above all, each of us has the limits of tolerability elsewhere.
Not only the largest selection of chillies awaits you at the eshop CHILLISEEDS.CZ or in a stone shop at Lucemburská 44, Prague 3. Open Mon - Fri 10.00 - 18.00, Sat 11.00 - 15.00