Do you have a cooking question you need answered? Write to me. Whenever I get a question from a Good Food listener I answer it right here on the Good Food Blog. You can email me a question to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s question came from Alisa:
I came across an article that said you can identify the gender of a bell pepper by counting the number of bumps on the bottom of the pepper. Is that true?
In short, no! When I saw your question I immediately emailed David Karp. He is a pomologist with UC Riverside and writes the Market Watch column for the LA Times. He explained, “The supposition that there are male and female peppers is a common canard, but untrue. Peppers grow from flowers that have both male and female parts. The fruits do not have a gender.”
He attached the below pdf, which is an excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Fruits and Nuts describing the pepper’s reproductive biology. The Capsicum (pepper) entry was written by Paul Bosland who Karp describes as “arguably the world’s leading pepper scientist.”