Il Chili pepper is a pileaf of the Solanaceae family and therefore already from the name we can understand that it loves hot climates.
Its genus name in scientific jargon is Capsicum and belongs to the group of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and potatoes of which it shares the shape of the flower and the cultivation needs.
When we talk about chilli pepper, its strong and spicy flavor immediately comes to mind. In fact, inside the pepper there is a substance called capsaicin which belongs to the family of organic alkaloid compounds and which gives the pepper its typical spiciness effect.
Chilli: the spiciness given by the capsacinoids
Di substances of the group of capsacinoids inside the chilli there are several and these also vary according to the variety of chillies. In fact, there are many types of chilli among the hottest ones like the famous one Nero cigar to those less spicy and even with a sweet taste.
The variations in flavor and spiciness in the mouth change therefore depending on the presence and type of capsacinoids present in the chilli.
There is a scale to measure the degree of spiciness and is known as the Scoville stairs. This scale measures the percentage of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin present in the peroncino and gives a rating between 0 and 10.
Pure capsaicin measures 16 million units and is a substance that in itself is irritating to the human body, so much so that excessive use can lead to inflammation, pain and even burns in contact with the skin, so much so that for some peppers gloves are used to handle them safely.
Read also Chilli and its varieties >>
Where do we find capsaicin in chilli: seeds or pulp?
The substance that gives chili pepper spiciness is therefore capsaicin which has no specific smell or taste but only the spicy effect. This substance is found in chilli pepper inside the seeds, pulp, filaments and ovary, however its proportion varies a lot in these parts.
If we take a chili in the hands holding it by the stem we will have the maximum concentration of capsaicin in the ovary and in the upper but internal part.
In the seeds the capsaicinoid substances are numerous even if they decrease in percentage as the position of the seed approaches the lower part of the chilli pepper. Furthermore, in the seeds these spicy substances are in the superficial part while inside the presence decreases considerably.
Instead the filaments where the seeds are attached contain high percentages of capsaicin while the pulp of the chili pepper is the one that keeps it least of all. and we can say that the tip at the bottom of the chilli has the least presence of capsaicinodes.
This distribution of the spicy substance reveals the real difference between the use of the powder and the seeds.
The seeds are generally richer in capsaicin and therefore much spicier than the chilli powder which is obtained from all dried and ground chilli. The seeds as we have said contain a lot of capsaicin and their spicy power is therefore very high.
In reverse however, they do not have much flavor due to the characteristic of capsaicin of not having its own taste. This is the real difference with chili powder because the seeds do not give flavor but only the spicy effect to the dishes.
Chilli powder is obtained from the fruit of the internal chilli which is dried and reduced to powder. This chili powder therefore contains all the parts: the pulp, the ovary, the filaments and even the seeds. The flavor of the chilli pulp is very pleasant and is unique and particular according to the different varieties of chilli.
The choice of chilli powder it is therefore made for both good taste and spiciness.
In conclusion, we can think of the traditional use of chilli in eastern countries such as India where, since the dawn of time, its daily use has been that of dried chilli powder. This is because in this form of powder the dishes could have different flavors and different degrees of spiciness depending on the type of chili used.
The use of seeds in these lands is not very common while in the West it still had a diffuser to give spiciness without altering the flavor of the dish.
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