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Green bell peppers


JAZ
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I grew up with green bell peppers making a regular appearance in various dishes -- "Chinese" pepper steak over rice, stuffed peppers and the like -- and I always figured that everyone cooked with them and liked them. But in the past week or so, I've run across several people who loathe them. Most of these people like red bell peppers -- it's just the green ones they don't like.

Who knew there was such antipathy toward what I consider a vegetable bin staple? Does anyone else like them? If so, how do you cook them? What dishes do you use them in?

And if you hate them, why? Flavor? Texture? Something else I'm missing?

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There was no pepper other than a green pepper in the town in which I grew up. My mother used them extravagantly in Country Captains and curries. I adore them sauteed in a pepper and egg sandwich, and I agree that they're superior as a case for a stuffed pepper. Bottom line: cook 'em. They suck raw.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Since I had my gall bladder out, MANY (ahem) years ago, I CANNOT eat bell peppers of ANY color , with the skin on. The roasted red bell peppers, either fresh, with the skin removed, or jarred, bottled or canned, are fine, but if the skin is left on, I taste them for a week! Or more. Gak! :shock: Dammit, and I used to love 'em, too!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I am a vegetable lover, but green bell peppers are the ONLY vegetable I have to give a pass to. The texture and flavor are not a problem, but they just do not agree with my body. I use other peppers like jalapenos and serranos all the time. There is just a moment when they are too green that the smell makes me think they will cause the reaction, but usually not. I come from a culture that does stuffed green peppers and I can eat them but they stay with me for many hours..

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I love ALL the colors of bell peppers, green included. I grew up on them, and still use them a lot. Obviously, as Chris A. said, as part of the trinity when I'm doing Cajun/Creole cooking, but also stuffed, in old-timey dishes like Swiss steak (yes, I still make that at least once a year) and chicken cacciatore, and in newer iterations like fajitas and Asian stir-fries.

I've even been known to eat them raw, as part of a crudite plate for my veggie side dish.

Both of my dogs love them too ! (I have veggie loving dogs, what can I say....they even eat cauliflower and cabbage !)

Yes, the red, yellow and orange are great, and have very different flavors, but I still really like the vegital, grassy, "green" taste of the old standbys.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I'm with you there. I prefer them in many things- it's a more 'aggressive' flavor than the red (ripe) type, sure, but those reds tend to get lost in certain dishes. Stuffed- green. Pizza- either way, but green is prefered especially on slice joint style (coal oven pizza with fresh mozzarella is one place where I'll prefer the roasted red peppers). Most of all, though, a sausage and pepper hero or pepper and egg absolutely require green peppers. The hot frying peppers are good too, but they have to be green.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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I hate them with a grand passion. I wish I didn't, as it makes my life difficult.

I also hate the red, yellow, and orange types. Cooked or raw. I have learned to leap to giving that explanation whenever I say that I dislike bell peppers, or I'll get the "have you tried...?" response. I have *once* enjoyed cooked colored peppers, at Max's Opera Cafe in the SF Bay Area, in a dish with some sort of Cajun/Creole-style sausage, and a garlicky cream sauce. (It was 15 years ago, so the details are blurry.)

I think they taste vile. Like green mixed with gasoline. I have a similar problem with mangoes, papayas, and persimmons. (Actually, I have learned that I can sometimes eat mangoes if they're ripe, and pureed with a milk product and turned into either lassi, or a frozen dessert. And that I can eat green papaya salad.) They all have a horrid funk to me. On a good day, mangoes taste of nothingness. (Literally. It's like they nullify the flavor of a pudding. Strange.) Mango skin nauseates me. I have a horrid memory of a mango shake once tasting like...well, I should probably not go there at a food forum.

Oh, and they "contaminate" anything they're put into. I've learned to choke down food by eating around them, if I'm in company I don't wish to offend by refusing it.

*sigh* I keep trying them, just to see if I've changed my mind.

Edited by Kat Tanaka Okopnik (log)
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I didnt like them, the only time we ever seemed to have them growing up was in chicken and black bean sauce with green peppers which I didnt enjoy,

Somehow I ended up with loads of them last year so I gave this salad recipe from Claudia Roden a try and I really enjoyed it - its just an assembly job. I think its my love of cumin that means I like the salad as a whole but roasting and skinning the peppers first makes them far more palatable

Moroccan Pepper and Tomato Salad

4 Green peppers

3 Tomatoes peeled and diced

salt

teaspoon cumin (I use more)

cayenne

olive oil

lemon juice

lots of parsley chopped

1/2 preserved lemon (If you have one)

Roast and skin the peppers, peel dice and mix with the rest of the ingredients

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I am one of the haters. Anytime a recipe calls for green pepper I substitute poblano or anaheim. If it must have no heat then I use the sweet banana peppers (I love the flavor of these) or a sweet red pepper. I love chiles, I love other peppers, but that grocery staple green bell pepper just wrecks a dish for me.

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Never met a pepper I didn't like. In my world green bells are the most common and cheapest, as a result they suffer from over-exposure.

Cooked > raw.

Has anyone heard them called "mangoes"? I spent some time in Indiana where people called them mangoes or green mangoes, as opposed to mango fruit. How localized is this phenomena?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Before moving to Iowa, I worried a lot about the cold winters. In a letter my mother-in-law

mentioned growing mangoes in her garden. Well this California girl was no longer worried in the

least about Iowa winters. How bad could it be if they could grow mangoes? Visions of avocado,

mango and papaya trees danced in my head. What a rude awakening awaited me. I have seen mango

pepper seeds listed in catalogs and it still makes me angry!

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Generally, can't stand them. Hate the flavour of green. Red are not bad but I wouldn't search them out in a salad bowl. I like orange and yellow.

If they're cooked really well, in small pieces I can handle it, but I don't love it. The one exception is in tempura. I have no idea why, but I don't mind them . . . could be the deep frying. :wink:

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I love green bell peppers, but that's not really saying much, as there are very few things on my "can't stand" list. Sugary cereals, I guess, but that's probably about it.

As for bell peppers, I like them raw and crunchy, dipped into some sort of veggie condiment, or just on their own. And cooked, too.

In fact, one of my very favorite dishes of all time is a grilled bell pepper medley. Had this in Italy several times, so now I do it here at home frequently. Just slice the peppers into fairly large strips, brush with good-quality olive oil, and grill over a wood fire. Sprinkle with salt and serve. These things are so easy and they are positively sublime, impossible to improve upon and, if you combine red, green, orange and yellow peppers, beautiful as well. In fact, every time I've served them to guests, they are always amazed that something so simple can be so surprisingly good.

You can eat them hot right off the fire, or room temperature, or even cold. Serve them just like that, with some sliced cheeses, charcuterie, good bread and wine as a snack, light lunch, or appetizer. They're perfect to pack up for picnics. Or add them to sandwiches and burgers. Or serve as a side dish when you're grilling another main, like steaks.

I think it's unfortunate that sometimes, when a food is cheap and popular, it starts to get a bad "image" with folks that are looking for something more upmarket, stylish and trendy. And I feel pretty sure that, although undoubtedly some people just truly don't like them, in general anyway, that's what happened with the unfortunate and unlucky ubiquitous mid-market green bell pepper.

No longer so beloved, victims of their own popularity, versatility, and success.

The food crowd moves on.

Inevitably.

__________________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Count me as one of the fans.

I used not to like them, and tended to leave them out or substitute. But I have come to the conclusion that, where they are called for, they offer a particular flavour -- an undertone of gentle rich bitterness -- which cannot easily be obtained any other way, and I miss them if they are absent.

The only time I don't like them is if they have been only partly cooked. Raw is fine. Cooked to melting softness is fine; but I'm not too keen if they are mid-way between the two. I find stuffed peppers, of which I am not very fond, tend to suffer from this problem. But perhaps I just haven't had good ones. I have some very bad memories of a deadly dish of warm hard peppers stuffed with a tasteless mix of rice and tofu which made frequent appearances at a particular stage of my life!

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I have some very bad memories of a deadly dish of warm hard peppers stuffed with a tasteless mix of rice and tofu which made frequent appearances at a particular stage of my life!

:laugh:

I'll admit, even as a fan of green bell peppers, that sounds pretty ghastly.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Wow, it's amazing how many people don't like them. I have to admit that they are practically a staple in my crisper. When I was growing up in Montana, green bells were the only kind readily available in stores. It was really too cold to grow your own. My mother's boyfriend used to complain about the cost but I notice he never complained about the cost of beer and cigarettes.

They are a good source of vitamin C.

I use them in sups, sauces, salads,stews and sandwich fillings.(Try them in tuna salad.) When one is about to go bad, I use it up in eggs. I use up all kinds of leftovers in eggs. A few diced pieces are also a good way to season green beans or other cooked vegetables. Now yellow, orange and red ones seem to be more readily available at reasonable prices, but when they used to be expensive, I would watch for them to be cheap, then chop the up and freeze them. If you freeze a whole one, you have a tough, mushy mess.

Of course the farmers' market is a good place to expand your pepper repertoire. Alvarez Family farms from Mabton WA is a favorite of mine. Try a chocolate pepper some time.

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Can't cook without 'em. Always have at least one bell pepper plant growing in my garden, from last freeze to first freeze; many years when we don't get a freeze, the bushes will overwinter happily, producing peppers year round. Colored ones are fine, but the deep, mineral, vegetal bright tang of green bell pepper is part of my native seasoning..the trinity is the beginning of damn near everything savory in south Louisiana (gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, stews, soups, cornbread dressing, etc). In fact, the trinity is sold, pre-chopped, in frozen & refrigerated tubs at most supermarkets. Various brands exist, varying the proportions of bell pepper-celery-onions slightly from one to the next. I'd have to give up cooking if I couldn't have green peppers. Stuffed bell peppers are a regular "lunch special" at ordinary cafes & neighborhood restaurants 'round these parts, filled with everything from dirty rice to pork sausage to shrimp & pork, breadcrumbs, crabmeat, etc.

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Well, as Heidi might say, in the food world, one day you're in and the next day you're out. Today's staple becomes tomorrow's pariah, too middle-brow for the kitchen sophisticate.

Witness the poor iceberg lettuce.

In everybody's fridge one day, and the congealed sputum of the devil the next.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've always loved green bell peppers, even though not many people in my family do. Cooked are fine, but I prefer them raw. I used to get funny looks at work when I would pack them in my lunch and eat them like an apple.

Sometimes I can't eat the red or yellow ones, they are too sweet. And I'm not a man averse to sweet things. :wink:

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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Pepper lover here, cooked or raw. For stuffed peppers, I want them melting-soft--not half cooked.

The first time I met my Southern Illinois ex-in-laws, their house smelled great--they were canning 'mangoes'.

I grow my own, and freeze them whole all the time, and mine don't turn into mushy messes. I use them for stuffed peppers, or I chop them and add to whatever I am cooking. I especially like them in pasta sauce, on pizza, or sauteed for sandwiches.

Edited by sparrowgrass (log)
sparrowgrass
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