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Cupid Bell Peppers
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Cupid peppers are small in size, averaging five centimeters in length and 5-7 centimeters in diameter, and have a rounded, cubical shape with slight tapering to the non-stem end and a thick, green stem. Cupid peppers ripen from green to bright red when mature and have smooth, firm, and shiny skin. Underneath the skin, the pale red flesh is thick, crisp, and succulent containing a hollow cavity filled with a few small, rounded, cream-colored seeds. Cupid peppers are crunchy and juicy with a very sweet flavor.
Cupid peppers are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer through fall.
Cupid peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are a perennial sweet bell pepper variety that is grown as an annual and belongs to the Solanaceae family. Also known as Snacking peppers, these petite peppers are an early ripening variety and are harvested approximately seventy-five days after planting. Plant breeder Janika Eckert, working for Johnny’s Select Seeds, cross-pollinated an old hybrid bell pepper, two varieties of red and yellow mini bell peppers, along with a sweet regular-sized bell pepper to develop the pepper sold at the market today. The result was a red cultivar, the Cupid, and a yellow cultivar, the eros. Cupid peppers are favored for their bite-sized nature, sweet flavor, and are often sold with eros peppers to create a flavorful snacking mix.
Cupid peppers contain vitamins C, A, E, B6, and carotenoids, which are the phytonutrients responsible for the deep red color of the peppers and are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cupid bell peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as grilling, baking, and stuffing. When used fresh, the peppers can be chopped for salsas, sliced for vegetable trays, dipped in hummus, or tossed into salads. Cupid bell peppers can also be stuffed with meats, vegetables, or breadcrumbs and topped with parmesan cheese and baked, or they can be skewered on kabobs and grilled. Cupid bell peppers pair well with bacon, chorizo, crab, thyme, cilantro, asparagus, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, chipotle paste, cheeses such as cheddar, feta, queso fresco, parmesan, and cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, garlic powder, rice, quinoa, and black beans. The peppers will keep up to one week when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Cupid bell peppers are a favorite home gardening variety in the United States due to their compact size. The Cupid bell pepper plant grows to less than one meter in height and less than half a meter wide, making it ideal for small gardens and containers in urban settings. The petite peppers are also naturally shaded by broad leaves to avoid scaling in the sun, are heavy yielding, and are easy to maintain.
Cupid peppers were first introduced in 2015 by Johnny’s Select Seeds as a colorful companion to the eros bell pepper. The Cupid, along with the successful release of other sweet peppers like the eros, led the National Garden Bureau to declare 2015 as the “Year of the Sweet Pepper.” Today Cupid peppers can be found in home gardens, through specialty grocers, and through small farms at local farmer’s markets across the United States.
Recipes that include Cupid Bell Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Belle of The Kitchen||Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Mini Peppers|