Peppers are the fruit of Capiscum plants, most of which contain varying degrees of Capsaicin—the compound responsible for producing a pepper's heat. In some cases, it's strong enough to produce a burning sensation on exposed skin.
The degree of perceived heat that each pepper type contains is measured in Scoville Units, ranging from 0 – 16,000,000
The majority of Capsicum is contained in the pith surrounding the seeds and ribs within the body of the pepper.
Peppers are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber yet contain almost no calories. They can be a great snack, or a colorful, healthy way to add a little flavor kick to salads, burgers and pizza.
Next time you eat a sandwich, try peppers as a replacement for lettuce for a little extra color, crunch and flavor.
While peppers are common ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine, sweet and hot peppers are actually native to the Americas (they were brought back to Italy and Spain by Christopher Columbus upon his return from the new world).