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Out of the Frying Pan

Herb & Spice Encyclopedia Index

Cayenne Pepper

Also called: red pepper (not to be confused with red peppercorns)

The chiles used in this fiery powder were originally grown in the Cayenne region of French Guyana. The same peppers are now grown in India, Japan, and Africa, but the name Cayenne pepper stuck. Unlike its milder cousins, cayenne pepper uses the seeds and membranes (where you'll find the fire) of a high-capsicum chile, making it especially hot and pungent.

Cayenne pepper is widely used in savory dishes is especially well suited to cheese and egg dishes, as its heat is a great foil to rich ingredients. Similarly, it's often used in rich sauces and buttery Cajun dishes.

Cayenne preparations vary by producer, and flavor and color will vary accordingly. Store in tightly sealed container and use within 6 months for best flavor.

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