It’s time to spice up your summer – with books and with literal spice! In the library, we’ve been cooking up fun programs for Summer Reading, opens a new window and finding resources for you to connect with your new favorite recipes. Did you know you can access New York Times Cooking through the library? Learn more about it here!, opens a new window
Some of our SCCLD libraries will also be offering a free spice kit featuring a spice sample and brochure of recipes. Starting on June 1, 2023, stop by the Bookmobile, Gilroy Library, Los Altos Library, or Milpitas Library for a kit with cayenne pepper while supplies last. Every quarter, we will be issuing a new spice kit.
Cayenne pepper is the fruit of the chili pepper plant, a variety of Capsicum annuum, native to Central America and popular around the globe. While fresh or dried cayenne peppers are used whole, our library spice kits contain ground pepper. Cayenne is just one of many dried and ground red pepper varieties you might use for cooking – others include paprika or ancho chili powder.
Fun Facts! Cayenne is part of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. Though cayenne peppers are spicy, other varieties of capsicum annuum are less so, like the sweeter bell pepper.
Curious about the heat? The amount of heat in peppers is expressed in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), opens a new window. Cayenne is considered medium hot to hot at a range of 10,000 to 25,000 SHU. This means that cayenne peppers rank higher on the heat scale than jalapeños, but not as hot as habaneros.
Other Ways to Spice Up Your Summer
Whether you’re excited to cook with cayenne or not, you can add some heat to your summer with these romance novels! They all feature characters who cook or bake, along with a culinary love story to inspire your inner chef.
These romance novels feature all kinds of spice with food trucks, family recipes, reality TV cooking shows, and a dash of romance tropes. So get ready for a heat-filled summer of second chance romance with a sprinkling of enemies-to-lovers. No matter the trope, the most important ingredient of all is love! Or maybe cake. Yeah, it's probably cake.