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, 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.”

Bosland Janick Unsexing the pepper 2008

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  • Arlene Hanson

    A few years ago you had an article on Good Food broadcast about California farm workers who did not have a grocery store or even a farm stand where they could buy the healthy produce they were harvesting. They were overweight and unhealthy from the stretch of fast food stores. Could you please repost that story? I'd like to use it for our middle schoolers.

  • Alireza

    "The fruits do not have a gender" OK, what about "DATES" is it a fruit ? Dates have male and female in different trees.

  • metazip

    Then why do we have all these “Fruits” running around saying they are of different sex than what they were born as?

    • Pathetica

      And why do people so backwards that they call others “Fruits” insist on posting public comments so everyone can see what idiots they are?

      • metazip

        Why do anal pukes like yourself exist in the first place? Get a life you immoral twerk.