1A tropical American pepper thought to be the ancestor of both sweet and chili peppers.
- These peppers are small and all are commonly called "bird peppers."
- Curiously, there are not as many names for the wild varieties as there are for some other species. The most common name being "bird pepper<em/>."
- The piquins are also known by common names such as "bird pepper" and "chile mosquito."
1.1The small, red, very hot fruit of the bird pepper plant.
- As pepper fruits ripen, pungency decreases due to peroxidase degradation, but ripe bird peppers, although attractive to and eaten by birds, still contain enough pungent compound to deter mammals.
- Mammals, on the other hand, are discouraged by the extreme hotness of the bird peppers.
- The bird pepper is an excellent source of heat and sharp pepper flavor.
1.2A variety of small hot pepper grown in Asia or Africa.
- In Southeast Asia there are no recognized scientific units, but the general rule is ‘the smaller, the hotter’; the strongest chillies being the little green ones often called bird peppers, a variety of C. frutescens.
- Even better, the tuna ribbons are capable of surprise. One day's version sparkled with scarlet nibs of the hottest little red Thai chiles, the ones they call ‘bird peppers.’
- I don't want to break down in tears and uncontrolled gasping, as I once did when a naughty Thai friend of mine slipped one of those tiny green bomblets called ‘bird peppers’ into my soup, just to see how I'd handle it.
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Syllabification: bird pep·per
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