Red bell peppers, Capsicum annuum, are members of the nightshade family and are closely related to eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes. Different cultivars of the bell pepper plant produce different colored fruit, including the most common red, orange and yellow as well as some harder to find colors such as brown (also called chocolate), purple and white (also called vanilla). Any of the particular cultivars can produce a green bell pepper which is a pepper picked in its immature state (before it starts to change color).
Bell peppers are sometimes classified with other less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers.” To most, the boxy-shaped pepper is considered a vegetable but like the tomato, is technically a fruit. Scientifically, a fruit develops from the ovary in the base of the plant’s flower and they contain the seeds of the plant. Bell peppers are plump and feature either three or four lobes. The seeds and ribs inside bell peppers may be consumed, but some may find their taste somewhat bitter.
Red Bell Peppers are generally a little bit sweeter than the more common green bell pepper and both are meeker cousins of the more robust chile pepper. Organic granulated red bell peppers are ripe, sweet peppers that have been dehydrated and then coarsely ground.
Bell peppers are called alfilfil (Arabic), Denglong jiao (Mandarin), poivron (French), Paprika (German), shimala mirch (Hindi), Peperone dolce (Italian), Piman (Japanese), Pimentao (Portuguese), bolgarskiy perets (Russian) and Pimenton (Spanish).