Hot peppers are actually members of the nightshade family. Hot peppers have long been used as a spice in a variety of ethnic cuisines and are considered to have medicinal properties. Capsaicin, the active principle, releases endorphins that can relieve pain and itching and can be used to “burn” out a cold. It is also used for sore throat, circulatory problems, and problems in the GI tract. It can, however, cause other stomach problems if consumed in excess.
Anaheim is a classical variety of capsicum annum. It was brought to Anaheim, California in the early 1900’s by farmer, Emilio Ortega. This large fruited variety is ideal for drying, roasting and stuff. They can also be pickled, fried or used in salsas. It is a great variety if you’re looking for sheer mass. The long fruits of this variety can easily reach over eight inches in length with thick walls. Also a prolific fruiting variety, Anaheim peppers start out green (70 days), turning to red (95 days) with maturity. The Anaheim Pepper has a mild-medium heat level that can be tolerated by most people along with a mild sweetness. An average pepper ranges from 500-2,500 Scoville heat units, which is less than an average jalapeno. However, Mexican cultivars of the Anaheim pepper can reach up to 5,000 SHU, about the same as a jalapeno.