For Whom the Bell Pepper Tolls

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Did you get your first wake-up call about the “whom” conundrum from For Whom the Bell Tolls via Hemingway or Metallica? A high percentage of English speakers waver over the who/whom thing. It ranks first on most grammar mistakes lists, before which/that and lie/lay. The FruitGuys grammarians might suggest putting your pronoun problems to rest and just answering the bell. For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee!

These particular bells come in a plethora of colors: green, red, orange, yellow, purple, white, brown, black, and “rainbow” (multi-toned, between stages of ripening). What distinguishes bell peppers, also known as “sweet peppers,” from hot and spicy peppers are the lobes and the round, bell-like shape.

The word “pepper” in the name “sweet peppers” is a bit of a misnomer that goes back to Christopher Columbus. Chris had peppercorns on the brain. He took his shortcut ’round the globe in search of peppercorns, and among the plants he brought back was genus Capsicum, which he thought was a peppercorn relative, so he called its fruit “peppers.” There are hundreds of varieties of peppers, including sweet, which of course are not hot and hardly seem to fit the dangerous pepper name.

Bell peppers are mild and crisp and can be eaten raw or cooked. Their cell walls hold up to cooking and are crunchy fresh, which makes them ideal as vessels for stuffing. Nutritionally, bell peppers are an outstanding source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. The level of nutrients varies depending on the color of the pepper, but all peppers are loaded with vitamin C.

Are green peppers unripe red ones? Just like the pronoun problems, it depends on the object. All peppers are green before they ripen into their glorious color. Yet there are pepper varieties that are grown to be green at maturity.


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