Capsicums, like chilli peppers, originated in South America where seeds of a wild variety are believed to date back to 5,000 B.C. The various colours all come from the same plant, but differ in their level of maturity.

Most varieties start green and turn red on ripening, but there are also yellow and orange. As the fruit ripens, it loses some of the sharpness of the green harvest and becomes sweeter and more nutritious. The varying bright pigments are not only beautiful, they’re part of the reason these fine vegetables are so good for you. Each pigment is an important phytochemical that helps protect cells from damage.



Green – These are harvested before they are fully ripe and will continue to first turn yellow and then red if they are left on the plant to mature. They have a slightly bitter flavor and crunchy texture and will never have the sweet taste of their red, yellow and orange counterparts.

Yellow – More mature than green, yellow capsicums have a fruity taste yet milder than their orange or red counterparts. Yellow varieties taste fantastic grilled and add fantastic colour to stir-fries.

Orange – Like yellow, orange capsicums are a bit less flavourful than red, but just as sweet. Use them raw in salads or roast them up to add their bright orange sunshine to dishes.

Red – These varieties are more mature than green, orange or yellow. They are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than the green as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Their bright colour and sweet flavour make them perfect for tossing into salads. When roasted red capsicums become silken and luscious. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red capsicums.

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