Hot peppers or chilli peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which makes them hot. The amount of capsaicin in the pepper determines how hot it is. The cherry pepper is one type of hot chilli pepper. This pepper has anywhere from 5,000 to more than 8,000 Scoville Heat Units, ranking it as having medium heat among chilli peppers, according to Texas A & M University.
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Commercially, cherry peppers are grown in the United States, Europe and Mexico. This plant enjoys hot climates and has been documented as far back as 1543. This hot pepper is commonly used in Asian, Southwestern, Mediterranean, Portuguese, African and Mexican cuisine because of the heat it adds to dishes. In the United States, 1,600 acres of red cherry chilli peppers are harvested between the months of May and September, according to Specialty Produce.
Cherry Pepper Plant
The cherry pepper chilli plant is grown both commercially and ornamentally because it yields rich, dark green leaves and bright red peppers. The cherry peppers produced by this plant can vary in size from small and sweet to larger and very spicy.
The cherry pepper is rather small, ranging from .75 to 1.5 inches. When they are first forming, these peppers appear green, and much the shape of a cherry, but as they ripen the peppers turn a bright red or deep orange colour. Because cherry peppers have a very thick wall, they cannot be dried.
Cherry peppers are capable of increasing metabolic rate and are both cholesterol and saturated fat-free. Just 6g of these peppers can burn 45 calories over the course of three hours. Cherry peppers contain vitamins A, C and B and are a source of iron, thiamine, niacin, magnesium and riboflavin. They are frequently used in health food recipes because they add a punch of flavour while providing nutrition.
Cherry peppers thrive in well-drained sandy or loamy soils. Plant them spaced 12 inches apart with rows spaced 3 feet apart in moist 6-inch deep soil. They have a long growing season, taking up to 120 days from planting to reach maturity. Cherry peppers prefer temperatures ranging between 21.1 and 29.4 degrees Celsius and grow at a much slower rate in cold weather. Generally, cherry peppers are ready for transplant six to eight weeks after being planted.
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