Nigerians have their own special way of preparing their meals, and despite that people belong to diverse tribes with diverse local foods, one of the things that seem to be general is how they patronize pepper during the course of cooking. And so, for many families in the country, no dish seems to be complete and great without pepper. They are becoming our identity as far as food is concerned, and they remain staple ingredients in the making of most of our meals.
Now, let us explore some predominant types of pepper in Nigeria. We will highlight their names (so you get to know more about them) as well as some other necessary information that will be beneficial to your knowledge base. Let’s go:
Types Of Pepper In Nigeria
Ata Rodo (Scotch Bonnets)
As far as pepper is concerned in Nigeria, this comes first (it is the regular pepper being used in the country). There are various names we have given to it in Nigeria. Some call it English pepper, some call it Isawumi. It is absolutely known as Scotch Bonnet, Habanero peppers, etc. It offers us vitamins C, A, B6, and folate, and it also has an important nutrient known as capsaicin.
There are indeed various reasons that have placed this pepper at the top of the table. it has been said that it helps in terms of weight management too, and it aids in reducing the build-up of excess body fat. Reports have shown that the capsaicin present in a pepper-like. Ata Rodo seems to regulate insulin levels after a meal. Nevertheless, it is necessary to emphasize the place of moderation, as too much of this can bring about unpleasant effects such as heartburn, indigestion, painful diarrhea, and so on. In fact, according to some sources, if proper care is not taken, it can aggravate ulcer pain and can bring about an attack in people who are asthmatic.
Tatashe (Red Bell Peppers)
Tell some of the local traders of pepper that you want to buy red bell pepper and they won’t know what you want. But tell them you want Tatashe, and you will get settled. These are also very popular peppers in the country. One thing about them is that they are less pungent than scotch bonnets, and they are also utilized to add colour to meals.
Tatashe comes in red, yellow, orange and green (although the red variant seems to be the most common type). Additionally, green Tatashe is famously called green pepper.
Dry Pepper (Piri Piri/Chili)
Popularly known as dry pepper, we use Piri Piri to make the dry pepper we grind. These peppers are pretty peppery and if they are too much in a meal, might be impossible to enjoy (which means they must be used in the right proportion).
These ones are smaller chili peppers that are used to add some spice to foods to make them taste better and more enjoyable.
Cameroon Pepper (Black Pepper)
Popularly known as Cameroon pepper, the black pepper is an indigenous thing, both in quality and in appearance (it’s colour). It is an aromatic pepper that we usually dry and ground before engaging in our meals. This pepper makes meals very spicy and is pretty strong that they should be used moderately.
More on The Various Types Of Pepper In Nigeria
Pepper actually has various purposes, functions, uses, and benefits. They can be used as spices, sauces, and flavourings no doubt, and they can also be utilized to decorate meals. Some eat them fresh, and some love when they are prepared as a powder.
We should add that peppers don’t just make meals lovely, but they have a lot of benefits (health-wise). It has been noted in some quarters that they are very beneficial to ulcers. The powder gives trace amounts of anti-oxidants and other stuff that help digestive issues. These can heal a stomach that is upset, can heal diarrhea, and can also reduce intestinal gas. Pepper has what it takes to reduce the acidity in the digestive tract that causes ulcers. Additionally, it aids to produce saliva and stimulates gastric juices that aid digestion.
Many peppers that we consume has an important nutrient known as Capsaicin. These things have various benefits. They help in reducing pain, and even clear mucus off a congested nose. They aid in preventing allergies and they also have what it takes to solve inflammation-based issues such as arthritis and headaches. This nutrient contains the production of what is known as Substance P. In case you are just coming across it for the first time, know that it is a compound that has to do with the swelling and pain associated with inflammation. It can help reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells. It is delightful to know that it has been stated that while tackling this, it leaves normal cells unharmed.
Another health benefit pepper has is that it aids the circulatory system and ensures the prevention of heart disease by lowering blood serum cholesterol. It also aids to reduce lipid deposits.
In conclusion, it is not too pleasant when Nigerians have to occasionally pay a huge amount of money to get some of these pepper at some point in time. Therefore, it is being encouraged that people began to prioritize pepper farming in the country (either at subsistence level or commercially). If we should have more farmers cultivating them, it should even make them more accessible, in more quantities (and cheaper).
Just as stated earlier, it is an essential ingredient in the Nigerian meal, which means it will be pretty profitable, as Nigerians consume pepper a lot. Even if the Nigerian market got saturated, it can also be exported overseas, which will be an economy booster at both individual and national levels.
On a final note, it is necessary to encourage more Nigerians to embrace the idea of including more nutritious vegetables like pepper in their meals. According to some sources, the consumption of large quantities of peppers can help tackle stuff like breast, pancreatic, and bladder cancers.
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