Red Peppers - LeRouge
Because of the freeze in Florida this year, green peppers will be in short supply for the next few months. This is the reason why red peppers are such a good value especially the next couple of weeks when red peppers, coming out of Mexico, are abundant. Sweeter and less stringent red peppers are a great buy at your green grocer or supermarket.
Red peppers are available in most states during the summertime
and are also available year-round in large volume. You sometimes see a light supply
from late May thru June and that's because Red Peppers are the last picking of the season.
Lets take New Jersey for instance - the summer months are June thru August, so with Red
Peppers being the last pick, we don't get any supplies until the end of August or beginning of
September. This is because Red Peppers are green at first. Sweet peppers will mature to various
colors with red being the most prominent color. The green pepper that we eat is the immature version.
Like I said, most common varieties of bell peppers will turn from green to red, with other varities turning
yellow, purple, or even brown as the pepper matures. As peppers mature their sugar content increases.
Some yellow varieties are the only color found in both immature and mature peppers. Red peppers have a real
sweet flavor and green and yellow peppers have a mildly sweet, slightly spicy flavor.
Look for Red Peppers that are fresh, firm, bright in color, thick-fleshed with a bright green calyx (stem).
Pick up the pepper and shake it. If you hear the seeds rattle inside, pass it by, that means the pepper is old.
Soft, pliable, thin-fleshed with a pale color indicates the peppers are old as well.
The California Red Bell Pepper season extends from late June thru December and comes from two different coastal
sections of California. Florida and California account for most of the production with New Jersey, North
Carolina, and Texas providing considerable supplies. Mexico, Dominican Republic, and The Netherlands are
main exporters of peppers. This year you will see a large amount of red peppers out of Mexico, beginning in
late April until the middle of May. This will help to bring the price down and give you good quality.
Refrigerated in the crisper drawer, red peppers will keep for up to three or four days, but they will lose
their crispness and turn limp in fairly short order. Left at room temperature, they'll lose their crunch
in a matter of hours. Don't wash until you're ready to use them. Red peppers are low in calories, free
of saturated fat, sodium free, cholesterol free, fat free, and high in antioxidant vitamin C. Red bell
peppers are a versatile addition to any luncheon or dinner menu.
Green Bean Salad with Red Bell Peppers
Broccoli and Red Bell Peppers
Other recipes from Produce Pete.