Like their relatives, the chili pepper, bell peppers originated in South America and were carried throughout the world by Portuguese and Spanish explorers. Peppers actually got their name from Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers who found them while they were looking for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper.
Bell peppers are sweet peppers that are chunky in shape, but nearly hollow inside. Their wonderful color, tangy taste and crunchy texture makes them a favorite raw snack, but peppers can also be baked, stuffed, roasted, stir-fried, grilled in salads and added into savory stews or soups.
Peppers come in many different colors, including deep green, blond, bright yellow, orange, fire-truck red and purple-black, and many varieties turn different colors as they ripen. Their colorful exteriors are also a telltale sign that they are high in many nutrients. They have twice the amount of Vitamin C (by weight) as citrus fruits and red peppers have about three times more Vitamin C than the green varieties.
Make sure their skin is firm without any wrinkles and that stems look fresh and green. Avoid peppers that have sunken areas or black spots.
Learn more about the delicious pepper varieties our farmers in Mexico are proud to grow for you and your family.