A large red cayenne
The cayenne pepper—also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, aleva, bird pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper—is a hot chili pepper used to flavour dishes. It is red colored when ripened to maturity, but also eaten while still green. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika and others. The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name.
Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Korean, Sichuan and other Asian cuisine), or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It is also used as an herbal supplement, and was mentioned by Nicholas Culpeper in his Complete Herbal, 1653, as "guinea pepper" a misnomer for "guiana pepper".
Most cultivated varieties of cayenne, Capsicum annuum, can be grown in a variety of locations and need approximately 100 days to mature. Peppers prefer warm, moist, nutrient-rich soil in a warm climate. The plants grow to about 2–4 feet (0.6–1 metre) in height and should be spaced 3 ft (1 m) apart.
Chilis are mostly perennial in sub-tropical and tropical regions; however, they are usually grown as annuals in temperate climates. They can be overwintered if protected from frost, and require some pruning.
Cayenne pepper, by weight, is relatively high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. However, given the very small amount of cayenne pepper typically consumed in a serving, it makes a negligible contribution to overall dietary intake of these nutrients. Cayenne pepper is also claimed to be a male aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin which can increase blood flow to all parts of the human body.
Many questions persist about the thermal value of cayenne. Canadian natives have used cayenne in their boots as a guard against sub-zero temperatures.
In cuisine 
Cayenne is a popular spice in a variety of cuisines. It is employed variously in its fresh form, dried and powdered, and as dried flakes. It is also a key ingredient in a variety of hot sauces, particularly those employing vinegar as a preservative. Cayenne pepper is often spread on sandwiches or similar items to add a spicy flavor. Buffalo-wing sauce contains Cayenne pepper.
In beverages 
See also 
References and notes 
- Culpeper, Nicholas (1814) . "Guinea Pepper". Culpeper's Complete Herbal. David Hand (Web publication). Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Therapeutic Research Faculty (2009). "Capiscum". Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (Consumer Version). WebMD. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- The pepper from Guinea is Aframomum melegueta, "Malagueta pepper".
- Brown (April 27, 2006). "Growing: Cayenne". ThriftyFun.com. Text " first,.jn/,vfdj/,dfmjn/vg/tf73134236.tip.html " ignored (help);
- South Devon Chilli Farm (2010). "Chilli Seed Propagation and Plant Care". South Devon Chilli Farm. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- "Nutrition Facts: Spices, pepper, red or cayenne". Nutrition Data. Condé Nast Digital. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2011, 2, 159–163
- "The Science of Aphrodisiacs". US News. 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- Latif, Ray (May 30, 2011). "Extreme and Edgy Flavors". Beverage Spectrum Magazine (Bevnet). Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Stanton Lee, Kendra (March 2011). "Slimming Prospects". Beverage Spectrum Magazine (Bevnet). Retrieved 2011-07-13.
Further reading 
- Nutrient Data Laboratory et al. "99369: Peppers, cayenne, raw (Capsicum annuum)". USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods (2.1 ed.). p. 68 (PDF p. 3). Retrieved 2011-07-13.