The Cayenne is a red, hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes, and for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others. The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
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 hot dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Szechuan cuisine) or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units.
The potent, hot fruit of cayenne has been used as medicine for centuries.
Medicinal Uses: Gastrointestinal tract: including stomach aches, cramping pains, and gas. Diseases of the circulatory system: It is still traditionally used in herbal medicine as a circulatory tonic. Rheumatic and arthritic pains: Rubbed on the skin it causes a counterirritant effect. A counterirritant is something which causes irritation to the area to which it is applied. This makes it distract the nerves from the original irritation (such as joint pain in the case of arthritis). Sore throat: If gargled with water it can work as an effective treatment for sore throats. Styptic: Application of cayenne powder has traditionally been considered to have a powerful coagulating ability. Thermogenic: Cayenne pepper is used both internally and externally in colder climates to protect against frostbite, it may be used in a crushed or powdered form in socks or taken internally in a tea to increase body temperature and circulation to the extremities.
Recipes that use Cayenne Pepper
Bobby Flay's 16 Spice Rub for Chicken Yields: 3 cups Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cayenne Spiced Almonds Yields: 1 ⅔ cups Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Creamy Red Kuri Squash Soup with Cinnamon Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
Middle of the Road Chile Con Carne Serves: 6 Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours
Moroccan Spiced Rack of Lamb Serves: 2 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Muhammara Dip with Cumin and Cayenne Pepper Yields: 2 cups Cook Time: 5 minutes
Paella Serves: 6 Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 2 hours
Red Lentil and Spinach Soup Serves: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
Rubbed and Glazed Pork Spareribs Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours
Salmon Spice Rub Recipe Serves: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes and 30 idle time Cook Time: 10 -15 minutes