Know your Cayenne Pepper

  • The cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum), also known as the Guinea spice, Cow Horn Pepper, aleva or bird pepper or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper -- is a hot, red chili pepper used to flavour dishes and for medicinal purposes. 
  • Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum and is related to bell peppersjalapeños, and others. 
  • The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes tomatoes and potatoes.

  • The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice known as cayenne pepper.
  • Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as inSichuan cuisine) or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. 
  • It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units.
  • Additionally, this pepper has been used in natural medicines for hundreds of years due to reported healing attributes.