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Walk into any Italian restaurant or pizzeria and you’ll see crushed red pepper shakers right next to the salt and pepper. Red Peppers are made from a fruit being plant within the Capsicum family. The 4 inch pods are fiery red to orange color with a strong bite and an intense heat that escalates during the cooking process. Native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies and parts of South America, crushed red pepper adds a mixture of heat, sweetness and smoky flavor that intensifies meals and tantalizes taste buds. Discovered by the Spanish in the 1400s and then brought to Europe and the New World, crushed red pepper is now used in all different ethic style cuisines. Used whenever a recipe calls for some added favor and a kick of heat, they are often added to spaghetti sauces, chowders, gumbos, soups, stews, sausage and pickling brine, as well as savory fried rice. Best of all, crushed red pepper flakes are rich with Vitamin C and A. Throughout the ages, they have be used to treat scurvy, kill parasites in the body, and help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and help promote weight loss.
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