This colorful, ground chili pepper will turn up the heat and color in your cooking. Use it in favorite ethnic recipes, or sprinkle it on at the table whenever a dish needs extra zip.
Botanical name: Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum
The term "cayenne" is often used to refer to any ground pepper, but true cayenne (which takes its name from the French Guinea city of Cayenne) is actually a particular type of chili pepper - about four to 12 inches long, thin, and very pungent.
Like other chili peppers, cayenne belongs to the genus Capsicum, a member of the nightshade ( Solanaceae ) family. Cayenne - and most other hot and sweet peppers grown in the U.S. - is Capsicum annuum, while Capsicum frutescens produces the small, thin-skinned pepper from which Tabasco sauce is made. The name capsicum may have been derived from the Latin capsa for "box" (the pepper is mostly a hollow, box-like fruit), or the Greek kapto, "to bite."
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