Cayenne Pepper

General Description

Cayenne Pepper is made from the dried pods of pungent chili peppers. This fiery spice adds flair to dishes from Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East.

Geographical Sources

Cayenne Pepper comes from India.

Traditional Ethnic Uses

Cayenne Pepper is traditionally used in Mexican and Italian cooking.

Taste and Aroma Description

Cayenne Pepper has little aroma, but it is extremely hot to taste.

History/Region of Origin

Cayenne Peppers were grown for thousands of years in the West Indies and Central and South America. Spanish explorers looking for black pepper misnamed them as pepper, and introduced them to the rest of the world. One of Columbus' passengers, de Cuneo, wrote how the Native Americans ate pepper-like fruit "like we eat apples."

Storage Tips


A Few Ideas to Get You Started

Try adding Cayenne Pepper to salsa, avocado dip, taco, and enchilada sauces for extra zesty flavor. You can heat up a barbecue sauce or meat marinade with a shake of Cayenne Pepper. Spice up your tartar sauce or vegetable dips and dressings with a pinch of Cayenne Pepper. You can make South-of-the-Border omelets with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper added to the eggs.