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Usually, this plant is native to the Americas and later became known in every part of the world spreading its use thanks to the various spicy species. The most suitable months for its cultivation are those of February and March and the harvest is expected at the beginning of summer . Obviously, each species can vary the aging times up to 80 days. Their use is recommended immediately after harvesting but it is possible to keep them in different ways: dried, in oil or transformed into excellent sauces. Someone loves to eat them fresh and then just keep them in the refrigerator.

For the collection we can use a pair of scissors and a pair of gloves (especially if we have to handle the peppers as habanero, the trinidad scorpion and so on) we start to cut them from the stem, taking care to leave about 1 cm of twig of the plant so the chilli is kept longer.

When we have finished harvesting and want to keep them over time we have to dry the chillies to make sure that water and moisture disappear otherwise , these two elements, would rot the fruit. Drying is simple: we can expose them to the sun, put them in the oven, hung or with the appropriate electric dryer.

The drying procedures can be:

  1. in the sun: cut the peppers in half, put them on a baking tray in the sun and turn them every 5-6 hours. Time needed about 3 days or more.
  2. in the oven: cut the chillies in half, bake them at a temperature not exceeding 60 degrees, with the oven door ajar to allow the humidity to come out. Estimated time 10 - 15 hours.
  3. hanging: tie the chillies with a string , put them in a dry place, without moisture, even near a source of heat (fireplace for example). Expected time ,what we deem necessary.
  4. Electric dryer: cut the chillies in half and put them inside the dryer. Time required: about 6 hours (small chillies) until 1 full day for the meatier ones. The chili once dried more be chopped and stored in hermetic jars for years!

A few tips:

For a always fresh chili better put it in oil.

How to proceed: cut all the chillies into small pieces and let them drain, then put them in vinegar and salt, to prevent the occurrence of botulinum or other. Place them inside a jar, adding extra virgin olive oil and finally boil the jar to make the vacuum and it’s ready! 

The use of chili in the kitchen can be varied. It is preferable to do all the work outside, using personal protection tools, such as mask, glasses, rubber gloves (latex ones are not good, capsaicin penetrates inside).