Chilli pepper are one of the most exciting crops to grow. It must be fantastic living in hot climates to be able to see the plants grow outside but even if you live in the more temperate Northern Hemisphere it’s still very much possibly to grow a whole host of different pods and plant varieties.
When I started growing chili plants I was fascinated by the plethora of information there was to help me learn how to start growing plants of my own.
Along the way I’ve also found some rather interesting and in some case just downright weird facts about chillies:
- If you ate 100g of green chilli it would provide you with over 400% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
- Eating hot peppers can increase your metabolic rate thus help you to loose weight
- Chillies have antibacterial properties and by gargling with them you can actually relieve symptoms of a sore throat
- The hotter the chilli the higher the endorphin rush is produced by eating them. It produces a chemical reaction to your brain similar to the one you get from running or cycling. In some chilli heads this has reached an almost near-euphoric effect hence why eating the chillies become addictive.
- The capsicum plant which produces chillies are actually fruits and not vegetables. It comes from the same Solanaceae family as tomatoes and potatoes.
- According to the International Trade centre the top 5 exporters of chillies (largest to smallest) are Vietnam, Indian, Indonesia, China and Brazil. The UK comes in at No.20 and the USA at No. 14.
- The top 5 importers are USA, Germany, Vietnam, Singapore and Spain. The UK comes in at No.7 which just goes to show what a big player the UK is for growing and eating chillies. (Plus who knew Germans had such hot tastes?!)
- In 1990 an American sailor created a paint containing chillies which reduced barnacles from forming on hulls of boats. It’s very effective and works without any of the harmful chemicals found in other paints. The name of the paint – Hot bottom!
- While there are literally 1,000 of chilli plant varieties all plants descend from one of 5 species: annuum, frutescens, chinense, pubescens and baccatum.
- Birds are highly effective seed distributors of chillies. They do not feel the heat from eating chilli, like all mammals do and thus can eat the fruit and disperse the chillies far and wide.