The chilli in widely believed to have originated in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador almost 10,000 years ago. Chilli peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC and can be traced back to the Mayans and Aztecs who used the fruit in their cooking.
The family of chilli peppers comes in an amazing variety of colours and flavours. These include the mild flavoured members such as sweet bell peppers and extend to the fiery jalapeno and the blazing hot habaneros. There are several species all belonging to the capsicum genus. Chillies belong to the solanaceae family along with their cousins potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes.
They have enjoyed a respectable reputation among food and spices throughout history. They are now an essential part of cuisines of Asia, Africa, Americas and some parts of Europe.
Chillies comes in many shapes, sizes and flavours, they can be hot, sweet, fruity, earthy, smoky and floral. As with capsicums, the red tends to be the sweetest form.
Chillies can be used not only to liven up a dish but are an excellent way to boost your daily antioxidant intake, helping you build your bodies defenses, boost your immune systems and maximize your wellbeing. Evidence suggests capsaicin, the compound that gives chillies their heat, may help weight loss by triggering certain protein changes in the body that prevents fat storage. Chillies also contain high amounts of vitamin C and B, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Cooking & Food Pairing
To allow the flavours to permeate through your dish, add chilli at the beginning of the cooking process.
Chilli can be found in dishes from all around the globe, from the Indian curries to the Korean kimchis to the Mexican Enchiladas and the ubiquitous chilli sauces. Chilli peppers work well with garlic, fermented beans, ginger, coconuts, shallots and fish.
Gourmet Garden Chilli
Gourmet Garden Chilli is a solution for busy cooks who want the fresh flavour without the chopping or mess. Gourmet Garden Chilli is available in Hot and Mild varieties in handy tubes and keeps its fresh taste for months. Gourmet Garden Chilli is great value with the equivalent of 5 fresh chillies in each tube.
Gourmet Garden Chilli can be found in the chilled fresh produce section of your supermarket, near the fresh parsley.
For more information, click here to download a Chilli fact sheet