The pepper (Capsicum) – a herbaceous and shrubby plant of the Solanidae family – is cultivated for its homonymous fruit. The pepper exists in about 50 species around the world, sometimes with sweet and sometimes with hot fruits. Florinis peppers: Greek nutritious food and an easy recipe
The plant is 50–75 cm tall, shoots that are tender at first and then woody, relatively small leaves, light green and white flowers.
The fruit of the pepper is green or yellow-green that turns red or yellow when ripe.
Its shape, depending on the variety, is conical and long to spherical or tomato-shaped.
The sweet fruits are larger than the hot ones, grooved and swollen. They are harvested 60–80 days after transplanting the seedling from the nursery and when they are bright green, before ripening.
Florin peppers after their journey from South America (Brazil) to Europe with Christopher Columbus in the 16th century, arrived in the region of Western Macedonia a hundred years later.
Florina, Prespes, Veria, Aridaia, Kozani welcomed the new, then exotic, fruit. In Florina, due to the fertile soils, it thrived and until 1950 it developed into an important product of the region.
Florina peppers are the Macedonian variety of red pepper with a sweet taste, which were cultivated in the wider region of Florina, where their name comes from. Florina is the ideal place for its cultivation, as the pepper plant can withstand drought and cold, just like the climatic conditions in the northwestern tip of the country.
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from South America and arrived in Europe at the time of the great explorations by Christopher Columbus. After their spread in Europe, we find them in almost all kitchens, as they are an easy-to-use, but also particularly tasty ingredient in gastronomy.
It is one of the few plants that has the ability to produce so many different fruits, both in appearance and taste, which depends mainly on their ripening process.
But to return to Greece, the peppers on the banks of Megali Prespa with their rich flesh and flavor show the traces of the wonderful course of the species.
It occupies a very large part of the arable land in the area where it grows and develops with the care of farmers for many years.
Loaded animals carried the peppers to the neighboring villages, to the markets of Florina and Amyntaio and nourished many generations.
The peppers from Aetos Florinis are considered unique, from where their cultivation began shortly after the Asia Minor disaster.
The area was privileged to have a large source of Sour water that was channeled even to the most remote fields with special furrows, since the cultivation of the red plant requires plenty of water.
Every year has its honor, as the "Pepper Festival" is organized by the village of Aetos. From the end of August to the beginning of September, there are events with dance groups and a traditional feast, lasting 2 days, while the women of the village cook food based on the pepper and offer it to the visitors.
Florinis peppers can be tried in various recipes and culinary inspirations. The characteristics of this variety are the length of the pepper and the thickness of its flesh which makes it ideal for pickling.
Of course, they are also eaten raw, but they are usually served roasted with vinegar and oil, after first being peeled. They are used in the preparation of red sweet pepper.
Florinis peppers are a delicious and low-calorie option. It is also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, manganese and rich in vitamins C, B6 and E.
Vitamin C can play a positive role in reducing the duration of common cold symptoms. In particular, the red pepper contains more than twice the amount of vitamin C than the orange.
They are also rich in vitamin A, which is good for eyesight and protects against infections.
Vitamin B6, which it contains, is vital for basic body functions, lutein and zeoxanthin, which can slow down the development of eye diseases.