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Cayenne Pepper

Rosi TrifonovaRosi Trifonova
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Cayenne pepper

The red-hot culinary spice, cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutescens), is actually the popular chili, considered the spiciest pepper on earth. The degree of spiciness of cayenne pepper depends on its type and where it is grown. This pungency is measured on a special scale - from 1 to 120. On the same scale, the color, aroma and degree of tartness are distinguished.

Origin of cayenne pepper

Tropical America is considered the homeland of cayenne pepper. In the beginning, the locals used them as decorative plants and later cayenne pepper entered culinary and traditional medicine, because it is rich in valuable ingredients. The name of this "fierce friend" comes from the port city of Cayenne.

The color of cayenne pepper is from green and yellow to dark red and the size is between 2 and 20 cm. Nowadays, major producers of cayenne pepper are some areas in West Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, California, Guyana, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

A red or yellow chili is several times hotter than the green one known as bell pepper. The spiciest part of cayenne pepper is the seeds, so before adding them to your culinary specialties, it is good to carefully remove them. Otherwise, they are capable of literally burning you with heat and burning the mucous membrane and esophagus.

When cleaning it, remember to wash your hands constantly and never touch your eyes, because there is a serious risk of blindness. An interesting fact and not by chance, is that tear gas is produced on the basis of cayenne pepper.

Spices with pepper

The substance that is contained in chili - capsaicin and which gives it its specific spicy taste, significantly lowers the level of sugar in the blood. This is a prerequisite for the pharmacy to look for options for putting the substance into preparations to be used for the treatment of diabetes. This fact was proven by an experiment on dogs, which reported lower glucose levels after taking capsaicin.

Composition of cayenne pepper

The most popular active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. The plant form of vitamin A - beta-carotene - ranks after it in terms of importance. Capsaicin has the ability to block the flow of pain in the nerves, which is a prerequisite for the relief of most inflammatory processes. As an analgesic agent, capsaicin is used in creams for the prevention of pain in muscle, joint and bone injuries.

Beta-carotene makes cayenne pepper a powerful antioxidant. It has high activity in terms of neutralizing free radicals. A single dose of cayenne extract provides enough carotene to synthesize one-third of the daily dose of vitamin A.

Storing cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper can be purchased from specialty spice shops. Keep it tightly closed in a dry and dark place.

Cayenne pepper in cooking

During winter days, a good idea is to make mulled wine with exotic spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves or cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is used fresh, ground and dried. Use it very carefully, because it is very spicy. All those who like spicy food highly appreciate cayenne pepper and often add it to various sauces and when preparing vegetable and meat dishes.

Cayenne pepper greatly enhances the flavor of beef, pork, fish, many vegetable soups and meat stews. Cayenne pepper is included in many sauces, including the famous Tabasco sauces, chili, of ketchup, etc. Even our favorite curry spice mix is quite often prepared with the addition of cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper gives dishes a specific and fresh and slightly bitter aroma. Quite often, cayenne pepper is also added to some types of pastries, especially creams and mousses.


Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper

Required products: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of strong espresso, 1 tbsp. powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 20 g cow butter, 100 g dark chocolate, whipped cream - for decoration.

Method of preparation: Melt the crushed chocolate along with the espresso in a water bath and add the butter, pepper and the two egg yolks. Mix quickly until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Leave it cool to room temperature. Beat the egg whites well and add the powdered sugar to them. Gradually mix the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with light movements. Distribute the chocolate mousse with cayenne pepper into glasses or dessert bowls. Leave it to cool in the fridge and serve it with whipped cream.

Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

In folk medicine, cayenne pepper is considered to be one of the strongest natural stimulants, which is a valuable stimulant. Cayenne pepper has a warming effect, improves blood circulation and lymph circulation, while helping to prevent various infections.

Cayenne pepper stimulates and improves exchange processes in the smallest capillaries and intercellular spaces in places of inflammation. The spiciness stimulates the work of the sweat glands and promotes the removal of toxins and harmful substances from the body through the pores. At the same time, capsaicin works smartly, because it has the most powerful effect in the areas of inflammation.

Cayenne pepper has been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels and prevent blood clots. As mentioned, it stimulates digestion and has an analgesic effect. Cayenne pepper is used to strengthen the cardiovascular system, even with headaches, diabetic neuropathy, as well as to strengthen the activity of the digestive glands.

Harms from cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper should not be consumed by people who suffer from gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. It is possible that an overdose of cayenne pepper may lead to some degree of toxic effect on the liver and kidneys.


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