''Capsicum'' (also known as peppers) is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. In modern times, it is cultivated worldwide, and has become a key element in many cuisines. In addition to use as spices and food vegetables, ''Capsicum'' species have also found use in medicines.
The fruit of ''Capsicum'' plants have a variety of names depending on place and type. The piquant (spicy) varieties are commonly called chili peppers, or simply "chillies". The large, mild form is called red pepper, green pepper, or bell pepper in North America and United Kingdom and typically "capsicum" in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and India. The fruit is called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit).
The generic name may come from Latin ''capsa'' 'box', presumably alluding to the pods or the Greek word κάπτω ''kapto'' 'to gulp'.〔''Oxford English Dictionary'', 1st edition, 1888, (''s.v.'' )〕〔''Online Etymology Dictionary'', (''s.v.'' )〕 The name "pepper" comes from the similarity of the flavour to black pepper, ''Piper nigrum'', although there is no botanical relationship with it or with Sichuan pepper. The original term, ''chilli'' (now ''chile'' in Mexico) came from the Nahuatl word ''chilli'', denoting a larger ''Capsicum'' variety cultivated at least since 3000 BC, as evidenced by remains found in pottery from Puebla and Oaxaca.〔Gil-Jurado, A. T., ''Il senso del chile e del piccante: dalla traduzione culturale alla rappresentazione visiva'' in (G. Manetti, ed.), ''Semiofood: Communication and Culture of Meal, Centro Scientifico Editore, Torino, Italy, 2006:34–58〕
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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