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Cayenne Pepper

Information about Cayenne Pepper

Featured Ingredient - USA Cajun/Creole




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Cayenne Peppers are actually Capsicums. They belong to the botanic family Solanaceae,  which includes potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplants, the deadly nightshade. They are not true peppers, but were misnamed by early Spanish explorers who confused their hot taste with the chillies to which they were accustomed.


Cayenne peppers originate in central and South America and the West Indies and have been grown and used for both medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years. They are red when fully mature, grow to between 6-10 inches long and are thin and straight or sometimes curled at the tips.

Fresh Cayenne peppers can be used for cooking at any stage, but the more mature (redder)  the hotter.  Although fresh cayenne peppers are available in some stores,  dried ground cayenne pepper is available almost everywhere and most of the recipes calling for cayenne on this site use this form.


You can find  recipes using cayenne  throughout this site and in particular on the USA-Cajun/Creole Cooking by Country page. Just use the search form to find them all.


Happy cooking!



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