Aromatic plants

Chilli plant

various types of chili and spiciness

There are many types of chilli peppers plant in nature, which differ in flavor, but above all in the level of spiciness. This is indicated by a number from zero to two million, expressed on the Scoville scale, which indicates the amount of water and sugar in which to dissolve the essence of the pepper so that the burning is not perceptible. This means that if a chili pepper has a degree of spiciness of 15,000 Scoville, 15,000 liters of water are needed to ensure that the essence of chili pepper, dissolved in it, is not appreciable. Of course, only certain types of chili peppers can be used in the kitchen, i.e. those ranging from zero to a maximum of 350,000 Scoville. Exceeding this value would only feel pain in the tongue and mouth.

The cultivation of chillies

Growing hot peppers is extremely simple, as these plants do not require great care. All species can grow both in pots and in the garden in a sunny position. Sowing must be done in February-March if you are in a heated environment, while in April-May if you are outdoors; the fruits, on the other hand, are harvested in late summer and autumn. When the plant has the second pair of leaves, it is ready to be transplanted in a single pot, with loose, well-drained and fertilized soil. After 20 days you can start fertilizing with soluble fertilizer from agriculture in composition 20-20-20. As for irrigation, this should be done when the earth is dry to the touch, remembering that the soil must not allow water to stagnate.


The best way to store chillies is by freezing. After collecting them, wash and dry them thoroughly and then place them in the freezer. This system allows you to maintain the flavor that is closest to the fresh fruit, without losing the therapeutic and pharmaceutical characteristics of the fruit, while sacrificing crunchiness. Drying is the oldest method and consists in drying the fruits in a warm place, but in the shade. They can be hung on a string or placed on a tray, but in the evening they should not be kept outside to prevent humidity from regressing the process. After 15-20 days they are ready to be placed in a jar or shredded. On the other hand, only dried chillies should be placed in oil, since the fresh ones can ferment. To carry out this storage method, fill a quarter of a glass jar with chopped chillies, and then fill the jar with extra virgin olive oil. Leave to rest for at least 2 months.

Chilli plant: Tips for using chillies at the table

Chillies are used when they have reached their state of ripeness. The only exception is given by Jalapeño, which ripens when it is red in color, but is consumed in the United States and Mexico in a state of pre-ripening, or when it is still green. In general, seeds and the inner white skin are the hottest parts. If you happen to overdo the amount of chili pepper used, remember that capsaicin is not soluble in water, so it is useless to drink. To eliminate the sense of burning, one must resort to milk, yogurt or cheese; all substances that contain fats, this is because capsaicin is fat-soluble. Alternatively, you can also use a slice of ripe tomato. Remember that it is not recommended to place the chilli pepper on the lips, to taste it; always better to cut a small piece and put it in your mouth.

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