Cayenne pepper

Pronounced: KI-yehn

A hot, pungent powder made from various tropical chiles. The cayenne chile is a bright red chile that ranges from 2-5 inches long and about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cayenne chiles are generally sold dried and used in soups and sauces. The majority of cayenne chiles are used to make cayenne pepper. Used both in cooking and medicine, it owes its hot flavor to a chemical called capsaicin, which comprises about 12% of the chile. The word cayenne seems to come from kian, the name of a pepper among the Tupi Indians in what is now French Guiana and was named after either the Cayenne River or the capital of the country, Cayenne.


available year-round

How to select

Also sold whole or crushed as red pepper flakes.

Matches well with

cheese, corn, crab, eggplant, fish, lobster, onions, peppers, potatoes, rice, tomatoes


red chile powder (don't confuse with chili powder, a mixed seasoning) OR paprika (milder) OR red pepper flakes OR chili powder (contains other spices)

Popular Cayenne pepper Recipes