Aug 29

Peppers of the Americas

Are you a fan of spicy foods? Peppers?! If so, this book is for you. 😛 Peppers of the Americas will teach you pretty much everything you’ve ever wanted to know about peppers–from what makes them hot to recipes using all kinds of different peppers!

Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor
Peppers of the Americas

By Maricel E. Presilla


Genre: Food/Cooking
Pages: 342

Truth be told, I was actually kinda thinking this to be a cookbook, so I was momentarily confused when I realized there were no recipes until page 227. What what?!

…But considering the title, it makes sense, doesn’t it? ;P

Peppers of the Americas

Peppers of the Americas contains the following chapters:

  • A Pepper Epiphany
  • The Silent Gardeners
  • Pepper Anatomy and Heat
  • The Capsicum Clan
  • Peppers into Words
  • The World Travels of Peppers
  • Gallery of Fresh Peppers
  • Gallery of Dried Peppers
  • Into the Pepper Garden
  • Cooking with Peppers

There’s a wealth of information to be had in this book. (It’s a pretty dense read, so I’ll leave you with a couple factoids that also tie in with medicine because, well, that’s my background. 😮

Peppers of the Americas

Capsaicin is used in ointments and salves for topical pain relief–it often initially has an irritating, burning-like effect (understandably) followed by reduced pain. It’s thought to trigger responses in certain receptors along nerve pathways, activating TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1), which is also activated when you’re exposed to dangerous heat that responds to a painful burn.

Strong concentrations of capsaicinoids can cause a similar sensation on the skin without any actual damage on the skin from a real burn–with repeated exposure, it’ll actually soothe rather than exacerbate the pain!

The encyclopedia of peppers is pretty darn awesome.. It’ll tell you where they come from, where you can find them, how they’re usually prepared, what it tastes like, how much of a burn it has, and how big they usually are! To be honest, I’ve only heard of a couple of em’ out of everything the author wrote about.

As you well may know by now, I want a garden someday, when I’m done with residency, working a real-real job and semi-normal hours, and have my own place, and of course, I love and adore food, so naturally, my favorite chapters were the last two!

Peppers of the Americas

The author is a chef who grows her peppers in New Jersey (where I’m also currently living!)–she talks about how to get started growing them–from seeds or seedlings, and how to care for them.

The cooking section discusses buying/storing/preparing fresh peppers, roasting/broiling peppers, and drying peppers using ovens/dehydrators, and even how to sterilize glass canning jars for pepper storage! Want to make pepper vinegars, fermented hot peppers, pepper sauces/condiments? This would be the perfect resource!

Peppers of the Americas is a great reference for any pepper lover out there–it can also even serve as a partial cookbook and history book! I’ve missed living at Please Save A Cat where my friend grows peppers (among other things)–I’m definitely going to be referencing this when I start my garden someday! :]

  • Do you like spicy foods?
  • Have you ever used capsaicin cream?

Check out my other book reviews!

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  1. ShootingStarsMag

    Thanks for sharing! Bummer there aren’t as many recipes as you had thought. It sounds like an informative book though.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…A Concert Review: Simple PlanMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Definitely! I for sure never knew that much about peppers before reading this! :O
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

  2. Ricardo

    How about a book on hot sauces?

    1. Farrah

      That’d be pretty cool! I’m sure there are some out there!

  3. Kathryn Pfeffer

    The pictures in the book are stunning! Would make a great book on the kitchen counter or coffee table for guests! I might need to get a copy, my maiden name in German means pepper!

    1. Farrah

      haha, that’s so awesome! 😀 And definitely agreed–this is a perfect book for pepper lovers! :]
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

  4. Cindy

    Peppers can be a great addition to any dish if you know which ones work. This sounds like a great guide!

    1. Farrah

      Very much agreed! I feel like this will help with that! ;P I need to go experiment on some dishes!
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

  5. Kristy from Southern In Law

    I have a few chilli loving friends who would love this book! I haven’t tried capsaicin cream but I do have an uncle that swears by it!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…From Spare Bedroom to Home Office: The “Before” and How to Choose a Tradesperson on AirtaskerMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I haven’t ever tried capsaicin yet either but I’ve had patients who’ve told me they feel it works really well!
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

  6. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    Give me all of the peppers! I’m such a fan and this is a great book!
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Simple Grab and Go Breakfast & Snack Ideas {WLOS Video}My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Agreed! 😀
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

  7. Mary

    OMG I love spicy foods, like love love love them. My Mom said she craved tabasco when she was pregnant with me so I wonder if that had something to do with it. I need this book! You always share the best food books, my library is growing and it feels good 🙂
    Mary recently posted…50 Self Care IdeasMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, perhaps! I wonder if there were any foods my mom craved when I was still cookin’!
      Farrah recently posted…2017 GFAF ExpoMy Profile

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