Cayenne Pepper

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

cayenne pepper a highly pungent spice made from the ground seeds of Capsicum frutescens, chilli pepper (see chilli). The name ‘cayenne’ itself probably came from the Tupi language (of the Amazon basin in S. America). Since it sounded like Cayenne, the name of a place in what was formerly French Guiana, it was commonly supposed to be that name, and it was further supposed that the name was given because the spice came principally or originally from Cayenne. What is now marketed as cayenne pepper may come from Asia or Africa.