This month's "Meet The Grower" Trent De Paoli is the director of the largest chilli company in Australia based in Queensland. Austchilli was founded by his father David and the business encompasses three generations of sustainable farming practices along with state of the art business management systems.
All of Austchilli product is produced in the Bundaberg region. We spent the day with Trent and his team who educated us and our customers on the process of growing the largest variety of chilli Australia has to offer.
The chilli, a variety of capsicum, belongs to the Solanaceae family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. Chillies seem to have originated in South America and were cultivated in ancient times. Christopher Columbus took some back to Europe with him and they soon spread throughout Asia and Africa.
The heat in chillies comes from peppery compounds called capsaicins. This is located in the membrane holding the seeds. For less heat remove both the membrane and the seeds.
All unripe chillies are green. When ripe, they can be shades of red, yellow, and orange, as well as green. Size and colour are not necessarily indicators of heat.