Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Peppers Grow

All sweet (or bell) peppers start green and eventually mature and turn color (red, yellow, orange, purple, etc.).

The photo on the right, which I took yesterday at the Union Square farmers’ market, highlights the rainbow of colors available. Click on the photo for more detail; notice the yellow peppers that still have some green streaks.

Green peppers, which are picked before they are ripe, are cheaper than colo
red ones since they transport better and can last longer on store shelves. Colored peppers amass more sugars and vitamin C during the ripening process, which makes them sweeter and more nutritious.

I grew hot peppers this summer. I’m still researching whether all hot peppers also turn color, but the ones I grew did. The photo on the left shows hot peppers from the same plant in four stages of color development.

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