The pepper is a herbaceous plant in the Solanaceae family with picciolate leaves, white flowers and berry-like fruit, hollow inside except for the seeds. It apparently originated in Brazil, and was undoubtedly brought to Europe after the discovery of America.
Peppers can be divided into sweet and spicy, the latter belonging to the Frutescens family and used primarily as a condiment.
Sweet peppers fall into at least four groups, depending on the shape: square, ox heart, “popone” and horn-shaped (including the Naples green variety, friarello).
Peppers are famously one of the most indigestible vegetables, due to the presence of a substance called solanine (also present in tomatoes) which is toxic to humans.
The amount of solanine decreases with ripeness, so apart from removing the skin, which is also indigestible for mechanical reasons (it adheres to the stomach walls and ferments), it is best to eat peppers very ripe.