“Backwards Picking”: Why Our Red Peppers Might Look Partly Green

January 14, 2019
by Rebecca Down The Fresh Faces

    If you’ve noticed that your red peppers have a slightly green tinge to them don’t worry – this is to do with “backwards picking” – they are perfectly good to eat! 

    Problems Packing Our Peppers

    As we deliver the freshest ingredients in our recipe boxes we have noticed that, on occasion, our customers’ peppers don’t always arrive in perfect condition. During transit, there is the possibility the peppers will get crushed against other ingredients (the tin cans of beans and tomatoes are one of the main culprits!) in your recipe kit bags.

    We are committed to supplying our customers with high quality, fresh ingredients, and since the middle of 2018, we have been working closely with our pepper supplier to see how we can ensure optimal quality of peppers at all times. But before we get to this, a quick science lesson on how red peppers grow…

    What is ‘backwards picking’?

    Red peppers naturally turn from green colour to a delicious chocolatey colour before turning fully red. The scientific name for the green or chocolatey colour seen on peppers is ‘colour break’ (see below). Peppers are very special because even after they have been picked from the plant, they will continue to turn red (natural magic!). Picking peppers that aren’t yet fully ripe is called ‘picking backwards’.

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    So what does this means for our peppers?

    To prevent the peppers from being squashed in transit, we pick the peppers ‘backwards’, to harness the natural ripening process so that peppers are firmer and therefore less likely to get damaged.

    This does mean that sometimes your peppers (both yellow and red) may be slightly green/chocolatey colour before they turn fully red. They are perfectly good to eat at this stage! If you would prefer for them to be fully ripe, you can simply leave them out in your kitchen (at room temperature) in your fruit bowl and they will fully ripen. To keep them fresher for longer, simply store in the fridge.

    Our Favourite Pepper Recipes

    Chicken Green Thai Curry with Rice, Peppers and Green Beans

    When a dish this delicious is on the table in twenty minutes, you know you’ve struck gold. At HelloFresh, we believe that having a busy schedule should never stand in the way of cooking and enjoying great food. Packing a serious flavour punch, and bursting with good-for-you ingredients, this chicken green Thai curry is guaranteed to become your favourite quick-fix recipe. Time might be your enemy, but this dish is your knight in shining armour!

    Oven Baked Ratatouille Risotto

    Our delicious oven-baked ratatouille risotto recipe is the perfect thing for an easy mid-week dinner. We’ve used the classic ingredients found in a ratatouille – red peppers, courgette, aubergine, cherry tomatoes and red onion – and thrown them into a tomatoey risotto for a winning family recipe. Served with a fresh rocket salad with cherry tomatoes, and topped with cheese and fresh herbs this colourful dish is sure to become your household favourite in no time.

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