Pimento peppers, one of the commonly used ingredients in our kitchen. Also called Cherry peppers(for their color and the shape) and as pimientos.
These cherry peppers are sweet, thick-skinned, and have minimal heat level. It has a hot red look, and the plumpy ball-like structure looks similar to cherries.
These chili peppers derived from the Spanish word 'pimientos' commonly refers to 'pepper'.
Most of us came across these chili peppers in the grocery stores many times and might have enjoyed used 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 up all your attention in a second-this pimento pepper is the main ingredient in the paprika-the spice mix that we normally 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 in color with the contrast green colored stem.
And have shiny smooth outer skin and have thick flesh like sweet bell peppers, but do not have those lobes at the bottom. The seeds and the pith covers most part in the inside.
The young pimento peppers are green in color. The ripen ones have an intense red color, taste sweatier. The grocery markets mostly carry in the ripen forms.
How do they taste?
Normally, they taste sweet, with bright peppery flavors, and with 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 makes a small impact that we can feel.
The Pimiento pepper's flesh is moist and crunchy, the reason why they stand out in the stuffing recipes. The texture, the flavor, and the luscious taste together taste like heaven.
There are many varieties of cherry peppers including sweet cherry pepper, and red hot cherry peppers. These do vary in the heat and the taste.
How hot are these pimento peppers?
Pepper's heat usually measured in the Scoville scale, and this sweet pepper ranges from 100-500 SHU units. To have a better view, sweet bell pepper's are with zero SHU units and jalapeno peppers are with 2500-8000 SHU. This is mild heat would leave minimal heat impact after tasting.
What are Pimento peppers(cherry peppers) used for?
Salads. For these reasons, right around the summertime, the salad bars loaded, I prefer them diced pimento as 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 are the popular recipes. The cup-shaped structure holds the stuffing well, could turn stuffed pimento peppers as the center of attraction on the party table.
Spice blends. Excellent to make 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 salad, soups, or in any recipe.
Freezing. Great to store up to 3 months. The texture may deconstruct when thawed, hence it is good to use in the soup or stir fry.
Fermenting. Canning, pickling for longer storage time, 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.