Zero Branco Sweet Pepper
Sweet peppers have been cultivated since ancient times in cool areas rich in resurgence waters.
Sweet pepper is a vegetable coming from South America and reaching the European tables in the 16th century. According to some researchers, this vegetable originally comes from Brazil, from Jamaica according to others. The cultivation of the several varieties of this plant is spread all over the world, while its cultivation areas in Italy are gradually diminishing. In Zero Branco, the cultivation of the sweet pepper has very ancient origins and is favored by the particular climatic conditions. Every year, between the end of August and the beginning of September, the town houses the famous "Sweet Pepper Festival", where you can visit the fruit and vegetables display and purchase top-quality fresh products at a special price.
The original variety cultivated in this area is called "Quadrato d'Asti": this variety has been subject to ameliorative changes deriving from careful selections and crosses that have led to the current varieties, in particular the so-called "yellow pathos", reaching in this area a particularly high quality level. Cultivating sweet peppers is not difficult: they are planted by hand or with special machine between the end of March and the beginning of April, under cold tunnel. The soil must be tilled at an average depth and enriched with organic manure. The plants need a certain quantity of water, and therefore drop irrigation is preferably used; they also need not to be disturbed by infesting plants. After about 80-90 days from planting, sweet peppers start to ripen and are harvested by hand together with their petiole.
The quality of the fruit depends on its consistency, pulp thickness, and color (that must be bright yellow), the regular shape, the size, and the taste (that must not be spicy). Zero Branco sweet peppers have all these features satisfying the needs of consumers. It must also be said that sweet peppers are very precious products in the second part of the summer and in early autumn, thanks to the presence of Vitamin B1 and above all C (150 mg Vitamin C for 100 g sweet pepper); it is the richest vegetable in Vitamin C: oranges only contain 50 mg for 100 g product.
Thanks to these features, Zero Branco sweet pepper is a great natural antioxidant, and therefore fights free radicals, responsible for the cell alterations causing their ageing, but above all cancers and heart diseases.
It is used to prepare many dishes: fresh in salads, cooked in the pan, filled, preserved in vinegar or au naturel.