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Shishito pepper is a mildly spicy, East Asian pepper variety. The pepper is small and finger-long, slender, and thin-walled. Although it turns from green to red upon ripening, it is usually harvested while green. About one out of every ten to twenty peppers is spicy. The occurrence of pungent fruit is induced by such factors as exposure to sunlight, and other environmental stresses. The prefectural agricultural testing center at Kishigawa, Wakayama stated in 2005 that capsaicin forms more easily in hot and dry conditions in the summer, and even experts may not be able to distinguish relative hotness on the same plant
For cooking, a hole is poked in the pepper beforehand to keep expanding hot air from bursting the pepper. It may be skewered then broiled (grilled), or pan-fried in oil, stewed in a soy sauce– and dashi-based liquid, or simply eaten raw in a salad or as a condiment. It is thin-skinned and will blister and char easily compared with thicker-skinned varieties of peppers.
Peppers originated in South America and have been enjoyed since 7, 500 BC. Sweeter (not hot) varieties like bell peppers were cultivated in the 1920s, in Szeged, Hungary. Before then, peppers were 'chilis' and were hot, which comes from the chemical capsaicin, which produces a burning sensation in mammals. Peppers are techinically a berry, which makes them a fruit.