Originating in South America and dating as far back as 5,000 BC, all colours of Capsicums come from the same plant, with the difference in colour relating to their level of maturity.
Generally, Capsicums turn red on ripening however, there are also Yellow Capsicum and Orange Capsicum. The difference?
As the Capsicum ripens, it loses some of the sharpness of Green Capsicums thus becoming sweeter and more nourishing. The vivid pigments in capsicums are not just striking to look at, they are part of the reason why Capsicums are so nutritiously good for you and the family. Each pigment has an important phytochemical that assists in protecting cells against damage.
Green Capsicums are harvested before they become fully ripe. As they gradually mature, green capsicums will at first turn yellow before turning to red if left on the plant to further mature. Being the least mature of all capsicums, the green capsicum has a slightly bitter flavour and crunchy texture thus will never have the sweet taste that their red, yellow and orange counterparts have.
More mature than green capsicums, Yellow Capsicums have a fruity taste yet milder taste than the orange capsicum or red capsicum. Adding more than their fantastic taste when grilled, the Yellow Capsicum and adds a splash of colour to stir-fries.
As with yellow capsicums, Orange Capsicums are a little less flavourful than red capsicums yet they are just as sweet as the yellow. Slice, dice or chop them raw in salads or roast them up to add that vibrant bit of colour to your next savoury dish.
These are the more mature of the green, orange or yellow capsicum. Rich in Carotenoid Phytonutrients and containing almost 11 times more Beta-Carotene than green capsicums as well as 1 1/2 times more Vitamin C. Red Capsicums have a sweet, fruity taste with their vibrant colour and sweet flavour making them ideal for tossing into salads. When roasted, they become silken and luscious.
Pimento and Paprika are both prepared from Red Capsicums
What to Look for When Buying Capsicums
Choose capsicums that are feel firm and appear glossy with a uniform colour. Avoid any capsicums that have wrinkled or dull skin, spots or blemishes
How to Store
Place capsicums in a plastic bag in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator - they will last five to seven days. If you also add a damp paper towel to the crisper compartment, it will help the capsicums retain their water