The medium-sized banana pepper, also referred to as the yellow wax pepper or banana chili, has a mild, tangy flavor. It is a member of the chili pepper family. Although they are typically a bright yellow, as they ripen they may turn green, red, or orange. It is frequently stuffed, pickled, or used as a raw food ingredient. It is a variety of the Capsicum annuum species. It has a mild flavor (0-500 Scoville units), and like with most peppers, the heat varies with pepper maturity, with the ripest peppers being sweeter than the young ones.
The Nomenclature Of Banana Pepper
The name “banana fruit” comes from the mature fruit’s curved shape and yellowish color, which are about 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) long and resemble bananas. The incorrect name for friggitelli (pepperoncini) is banana peppers. Hungarian wax peppers are the name for the hot varieties of banana pepper.
The Cultivation Of Banana Pepper
Like other Capsicum annuum varieties, this one needs full sun and should be cared for similarly to the majority of other pepper family plants. Cuttings and seeds can both be used to grow plants. Although it can be grown in many climates and mature plants can reach heights of 1 to 2 feet, they prefer warmer environments. Early Sweet Banana, Hungarian Yellow Wax, Long Sweet Yellow, Sweet Banana, and Sweet Hungarian are some cultivars.
The Nutritional Information About Banana Pepper
92 percent of raw banana peppers are made up of water, 5 percent of them of carbohydrates, and very little protein and fat (table). They are abundant sources of vitamin C and provide 100% of the Daily Value (DV) in a 100-gram serving (table). Without any other micronutrients in appreciable amounts, vitamin B6 has a substantial content of 28 percent of the daily value (table).
Why Is It Called Banana Pepper?
Banana peppers get their name from the fact that they resemble real bananas. The name is a reference to how much they resemble bananas when they are ripe on the plant due to their yellowish color and shape.
The banana pepper makes a convincing impersonation of the well-known tropical fruit in terms of shape and color. Their curved shape resembles a banana, and they can reach lengths of two to three inches. Like a banana, their color begins as green and typically develops into a greenish-yellow or full yellow. But as they get older, they can turn orange or even red.
How Hot Is A Banana Pepper?
With 500 Scoville Heat Units, banana peppers don’t qualify as hot peppers because they either have no heat at all or have a very mild kick. The hottest banana pepper is actually five times less hot than the mildest jalapeno peppers, which range in heat from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). That is very minimal. Other peppers in this range that you might be familiar with include the Anaheim Pepper, which has a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 500 to 1,000, the Cubanelle Pepper, which has a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 0 to 1,000, the pepperoncini, which has a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 100 to 500, and the Cascabella Pepper, which has a Scoville Heat Unit rating of 1500 to 6,000.
What Do Banana Pepper Taste Like?
Banana peppers have a natural tang to them, similar to the Italian pepperoncini, but there is also sweetness present. It’s difficult to dislike the flavor of chili, especially when pickled. Banana peppers are most frequently found in the pickled section of your neighborhood grocery store. The tangy vinegar brine used in pickling brings out the natural tang even more. For sure, it is delicious to try in the different types of vegetables. The natural flavor of these chilies combined with the pickling juice makes for an incredibly flavorful one-two punch. It’s one of the reasons pickled banana peppers are so popular and widely available in supermarkets, along with the fact that they have a heat level that is very palatable.
When To Pick Banana Pepper?
Choose banana peppers whose flesh feels firm to the touch and is a vivid yellow-green color. Make sure the pepper skins are firm and free of soft spots or rotting indications. Although they can be left on the plant to ripen and turn orange or reddish in color, they are usually picked when they are yellow or yellow-green.
How Long Do Fresh Banana Peppers Last?
If properly stored, freshly harvested peppers from the garden can last for two to three weeks. Put them in a plastic bag, and store them in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Peppers should be kept at a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking With Banana Pepper
These make excellent toppings for sandwiches, salads, and pizza, as mentioned – fresh or pickled. The relatively thick walls of this chili have led to the popularity of stuffed banana peppers as well. For stuffed pepper dishes, it’s a great substitute for bell or poblano peppers. Banana pepper poppers make a good substitute for cheese-filled jalapenos if you’re looking for something a little less spicily spicy. In the Southern US, deep-fried banana peppers are also very well-liked. They are great as a side for fried chicken or barbecue in your healthy food suggestions for Super Bowl.
Banana peppers are also excellent chopped for salsas and pureed for hot sauces, just like other chilies. Of course, the end result will be very mild, but instead of bell peppers, you could use them to add a tiny bit of heat to a salsa.
Cooking Tips Using Banana Pepper
- Never handle something that is “mild” without gloves. When handled carelessly, even the mildest chilies can cause discomfort known as chili burn. It happens frequently that you don’t feel the burn on your fingers but do when you rub your eye, which is a much more sensitive area. Normally, handling whole, uncut banana peppers won’t be a problem, but when cutting into them, you should wear kitchen gloves.
- Not to be forgotten when using pickled banana peppers is the “juice”. The pickling brine that the banana peppers are stored in is referred to as the “juice.” That brine is a great ingredient to experiment with in the kitchen because it has developed a little heat over time from those chilies.
Substitute for Banana Pepper
If you can’t find banana peppers, try pepperoncini or sweet Italian pepperoncini instead. They have a great flavor and are very similar to banana peppers in flavor. Banana peppers and pepperoncini are frequently confused. However, it can be more challenging to find fresh pepperoncini, so you might need to grow them. Small sweet yellow bell peppers or mild Italian sweet peppers, which are more readily available, could be used in place of the pepper.
The Hungarian Wax Pepper is a great alternative for a flavor that is similar. The Hungarian Wax, however, is significantly hotter, reaching up to 15,000 SHU.