Pimento pepper is one of the famous pepper varieties in the market. These look similar to cherry peppers in their color and shape.
These peppers are sweet, thick-skinned, and have minimal heat level. It has a hot red look, and the plummy heart-like structure resembles cherries.
These chili peppers are derived from the Spanish word 'pimientos', commonly referred to as 'pepper'.
Most of us have come across these chili peppers in the grocery stores many times and might have enjoyed using them in salsa or even in soups like the most popular jalapeno pepper.
But we might not have realized that we have been using them all in our food in many other forms. To bring all your attention in a second, pimento pepper is the main ingredient in the paprika spice mix that we usually use.
Furthermore, in the consumer market, these Pimento peppers are widely used to make spice blends, stuffed olives, pimento cheese, oil, and more.
How does it look?
These are generally 1-1.5 inches in length and have a spherical shape. Bright and pleasing red with the contrasting green colored stem.
They have shiny, smooth outer skin and thick flesh like sweet bell peppers, but do not have those lobes at the bottom. The seeds and the pith cover most of the inside.
The young pimento peppers are green in color. The ripened ones have an intense red color and taste sweatier. The grocery markets mostly carry in the ripened forms.
How do they taste?
Usually, they taste sweet, with bright, peppery flavors and low heat. The flesh is thicker like bell peppers but sweeter and mildly hot when compared. However, this hot will not hit your tastebuds in a fiery manner but will make a small impact that we can feel.
The Pimiento pepper's flesh is moist and crunchy, so it stands out in the stuffing recipes. The texture, the flavor, and the luscious taste together taste like heaven.
There are many varieties of pimento peppers. Some taste sweet, and some are mild. However, these do vary in the heat and the taste.
How hot are these pimento peppers?
Pepper's heat is usually measured in the Scoville scale, and this sweet pepper ranges from 100-500 SHU units. To have a better view, sweet bell peppers are with zero SHU units, and jalapeno peppers are with 2500-8000 SHU. This mild heat would leave minimal heat impact after tasting.
What are pimento peppers used for?
Salads. For these reasons, right around the summertime, the salad bars are loaded, I prefer the diced pimento as a gorgeous salad addition beyond its crunchy, sweet taste.
Soups. Widely used to warm up the soup with zesty flavors. It provides the right amount of heat, anyone would expect.
Stir-fries. Stir in roughly chopped pimento to intensify simple recipes.
Pickles. The thick-walled peppers are good for pickling. And comes in handy to spice up our everyday meal. Usually stuffed in olives, pimento olives are a popular snack around the globe.
Stuffed. Stuffing with cream cheese or goat cheese is a popular recipe. The cup-shaped structure holds the stuffing well and could turn stuffed pimento peppers into the center of attraction on the party table.
Spice blends. Excellent for making spice powders. Dehydrate and blend to make homemade chili powder.
Refrigerating. The fresh pimento peppers are excellent to store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Use them in salads, soups, or any recipe.
Freezing. Great to store for up to 3 months. The texture may deconstruct when thawed, hence, it is good to use in soup or stir fry.
Fermenting. Canning pickling for longer storage time is also used in any recipe.
Dehydrating. By air drying or using a dehydrator, increase the shelf time to a year. A fragrant, rich chili powder ready to spice up any everyday comfort food.