In fact, bell peppers are native to America. More precisely, from Mexico, from where in 1493 his seeds were brought to Spain. From Spain, it spread to Europe, then to Turkey, and came to us from Bulgaria.
From Mexico via Bulgaria
Large-fruited sweet varieties of bell peppers were bred in Bulgaria. Wild pepper exported from Mexico was used as a medicine and was not sweet enough. Therefore, Bulgarian breeders started breeding a sweet variety, which they succeeded in. And it was imported to us in large quantities during the Soviet era exclusively from Bulgaria, both fresh and canned. Since then, delicious sweet pepper is called Bulgarian in our country. But today these vegetables are grown all over the globe. The lion's share of them is still in Mexico - there are the world's largest sweet pepper plantations.
Bell pepper is the fruit of an annual herb from the genus Capsicum. The appearance of the fruit is a large pod. Depending on the stage of ripeness and variety, the vegetable can be from dark green to dark red in color.
The secret of sweetness
It surpasses lemon in vitamin C content. Moreover, the ascorbic acid contained in sweet peppers has antihistaminic properties. Rich in all representatives of group B, carotene, potassium, sodium, sulfur, iron, phosphorus, chlorine, calcium and silicon. It also contains essential oils, nitrogenous compounds and sugars. And very little capsiacin. A special substance, capsaicin, makes other members of the pepper family hot and bitter. And in bell pepper its minimum amount, therefore it is sweet.
Mango and Pepper-Fruit
By the way, only here we call “Bulgarian” sweet pepper. In Bulgaria itself, it is called sweet. In America - just pepper, sometimes adding color epithets (green, red, yellow). In some areas (Pennsylvania, Ohio), it is known as "mango". Not only because of the extraordinary sweetness. It's just that once mangoes were available to Americans only in canned form. Therefore, this is what they call all canned vegetables, even bell peppers, which are traditionally eaten there in pickled form. In Australia and New Zealand, bell peppers are called capsicum.
In Europe, the most common name is paprika. This is the name of the vegetable itself, and the seasoning that is made from it. Color is also often added to the name of paprika. So the paprika seasoning is yellow, green, and orange. In Denmark, the sweetness of the bell pepper is noted in the name - the pepper-fruit. In Costa Rica, it is also called sweet pepper or sweet chili. In Brazil, there is a big pepper. But the Egyptians, despite the different colors of bell peppers, call it exclusively green pepper.