Chili pepper is often mistaken as a vegetable, but instead, it is a fruit. Chili pepper is grown throughout the world but was originally originated from South America. Chili peppers are used to add spiciness to your food; the intensity may depend on the type of pepper being used.
Chili pepper is found in many forms, each with a different taste and usage. You can find its powder, partially crushed, or raw chili pepper in the market. Mostly it is preferred to use raw chili peppers. Chili peppers have a low shelf life and need to be stored properly to keep them fresh.
How To Store Chili Pepper
Chili peppers do not last long if not stored properly. There are various methods to store chili peppers around the world. Following are the techniques you can follow to ensure that your chili peppers can last a little longer.
In Asian countries, people usually buy chili peppers fresh. Mostly chili peppers are stored at room temperature. The chili peppers get spoiled fast at room temperature, but if you utilize it at the mark of 2-3 days, it is fine.
You can contain it in an air-tight container so that the surrounding moisture may not speed up the rotting process.
Storing your chili pepper in the refrigerator is the most widely used method to store chili pepper for longer use. Chili peppers can stay fresh for about two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
You can wrap it into a paper bag or use an air-tight container and place it in the vegetable section. This will prevent the moisture from spoiling your chili peppers.
Freezing chili peppers is also used to preserve chili pepper but is more likely to be used in areas where it is hard to access the market daily. Freezing chili pepper can increase its life for 4-5 months.
To freeze chili peppers, you can chop them and then place them in the freezer on a baking plate. Wait for an hour or two to make sure it has frozen, and then you can place it in a plastic bag or a container.
Using this technique, your chili peppers can stay fresh for about a month. All you need to do is take a cup of water and add a tablespoon of salt. Soak the chilies in the water and refrigerate them in a sealed container. When you have to use it, then rinse it with water.
Can You Freeze Chili Pepper
You can freeze your chili peppers, but it is not a popular method to store chilies worldwide. Chilli pepper is cultivated throughout the world and is easily available in the markets, consumed freshly.
In areas where markets are way too far or regions where chilies cannot be grown, i.e., Antarctica, there is a need to store chilies. Chilies can be frozen for 6-7 months and are usually sliced. You have to freeze-dry chilies before storage to avoid rotting your chilies. If you wash chilies, then make sure to dry them.
How Long Does Chili Pepper Last
Chili pepper has a low shelf life and can last for 1-3 weeks, depending on the region it is stored in. In hot regions, at room temperature, chili pepper can last for one week. The moisture can decrease the life of chili pepper.
If stored in a cold environment, the chili pepper can last for 2 weeks. Storing in the refrigerator can increase its life for a month, provided that you place your chilies in a dry, air-tight container. Freezing chilies can make it last for 5-6 months.
Chili pepper partially crushed or in powdered form lasts longer; typically, it can stay fresh for 2-3 months at room temperature and does not require a refrigerator or freezer to store. In South Asia, powdered chilies are very popular, which are added to the curries.
How To Tell If Chili Pepper Is Bad
Chili pepper in crushed or powdered form doesn’t go bad for a long time, but still, there are some signs from which you can tell if they have gone bad. A dash of single chili pepper has less shelf life, and one can easily mark the fruit’s rotten signs. Following are some signals you can follow to check for rotten chili pepper.
- Appearance: A chili pepper will have dry, wrinkled skin with color gone dark. It can have dark spots. If stored in a container, then it can have mold development. A rotten chili will turn soft.
- Smell: A rotten chili have a strong, sharp smell of rotting. If mold is developed, then it will have a rotten smell of fungus. A strong musky smell also shows the spoilage of the chili.
- Taste: A rotten chili will have a funky taste like an expiry fruit. Adding it to your food will make it taste not good.
What does Chili Pepper Look Like?
Chili Pepper has a well-known appearance. The whole form comes in various colors depending on the color of its fruits. The colors may vary between red, yellow, green, purple, and white. However, if you want the ground form of this spice, it is normally available in a red or reddish-brown color.
The reddish-brown is often a combination of various types of fruits. Besides, people also use either dry or fresh forms of Chili Pepper. The fresh form is often filled and stuffed well. While the dry form has a wrinkly appearance.
Where does Chili Pepper Come From?
As stated above, Chili Pepper came from Mexico, and eventually, it spread all over the world. As per the plant family, this spice is from Capsicum annum. Some common types of this plant are wax, bell peppers, Thai peppers, jalapeno pepper, cayenne, New Mexico chile, etc. However, not all of these spices are commonly used.
The plant normally produces a unique type of flower that has five teeth called petals. These petals have white color. The average height of this plat is around 1.6 to 4.9 ft. The Chile Pepper has an annual plant. So, you can cultivate it annually.
How is Chili Pepper Made?
Making Chili Pepper is super easy. When the plant gets ready for harvest, start picking the fruits. Then, wash them well and put them in any tray under the sun. Let it dry well. When it is fully dried, the fruits turn crispy, indicating that the fruits are ready for further process.
In some regions, people use big containers often made of wood or stone to crush the pepper. However, you can also use spice grinders for this purpose.
What Does Chili Pepper Taste Like?
The flavor of Chili Pepper depends on its type. Some of its types may be hotter than others. But generally, this spice is known for its heat. It has a very hot and sharp flavor. Some types may also have a little smoky and comparatively sweet flavor. It also resembles black pepper in terms of hotness. That’s the reason behind the addition of pepper in its name.
How is Chili Pepper Used in Cooking?
While cooking, you can add dried whole Chili Pepper in curries and other slow-cooked dishes. While you can also add the powder form with other ingredients like salt and garam masala. Besides, you don’t always have to add it to the recipe; just sprinkle it on the food to enhance its taste.
What Types of Cuisines Use Chili Pepper?
Due to the hot flavor of Chili Pepper, it is always used in culinary cuisines. It is widely used in Indian dishes. Most people even confuse it as the Indian spice. It is used in curries, vegetables, and almost all types of spicy foods. You can also make pastes, chutneys, pickles, and sauces, etc.
What is a Chili Pepper Substitute?
Chili Pepper has a lot of substitutes. Here we will list five of its top substitutes. These are Cayenne Pepper, Serrano Pepper, Pequin Chili Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, and Tien Tsin Chili Pepper. So, next time when you get out of it, use them instead.
Where to Buy Chili Pepper?
Chile Pepper is a common spice, and there are a lot of brands that manufacture it. Therefore, you can easily find it anywhere. However, if you want a high-quality product with great taste, we suggest few products to choose from. These products are provided in the list below.
- Amazon Brand – Happy Belly Red Pepper, Crushed, 2 Ounces
- Soeos Szechuan Dried Chili，Dry Szechuan Pepper, Dry Chile Peppers, Sichuan Pepper, Dried Red Chilies, 4oz, (Very Mild Spicy)
- Chile De Arbol 5oz – Dried Whole Red Chili Peppers
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