It is widely used in the cuisine of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Italy. The Cubanelle, also known as “Cuban pepper” and “Italian frying pepper,” is a variety of the sweet pepper species Capsicum annuum. When unripe, it is light yellowish-green in color, but will turn bright red if allowed to ripen. It has thinner flesh than bell peppers, is longer, and has a slightly more wrinkled appearance.
More About Cubanelle Pepper
Although the Cubanelle’s heat can range from mild to very moderate, it is still regarded as a sweet pepper. By most measures, it is not a dash of especially hot pepper. The peppers are typically picked when they are light green or yellow-green to prevent them from ripening; however, when they are ripe, they turn bright red to orange-red. The pods are banana-shaped, 4-6 inches long, and 2 inches wide. They taper toward the bottom. The pepper should be smooth and firm, with glossy skin. Due to their excellent performance in a frying pan with a little olive oil, Cubanelles are also known as the Italian Frying Pepper.
Common Uses For Cubanelle Pepper
Cubanelles are frequently incorporated into salads, casseroles, or a yellow mole sauce. They can be stuffed with your preferred delectable filling, and they are great on pizza or subs as well. They can be utilized in everyday cooking, just like any other type of bell, for instance, as a component of a mirepoix. Some people can’t use the Carolina Reaper Pepper because of its hotness, but for sure Cubanelle peppers are excellent for stuffing peppers because of the size of the pods.
You can fill them with your preferred filling, bake or grill them, and then eat them. Cubanelle peppers, a favorite in those regions, are used in cooking and recipes all over Central America, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. However, they are becoming more common in American stores, and growers have long used them in cooking.
How Hot Is The Cubanelle Pepper?
The Cubanelle pepper is much milder than a typical jalapeño pepper, scoring between 0 and 1,000 Scoville Heat Units. When you can’t handle the hot Komodo Dragon Chili, for sure Cubanelle pepper is more bearable for you. The hottest Cubanelle pepper is still five times milder than the average jalapeño pepper, which has an average SHU of around 5,000. Nevertheless, based on your tolerance for and heat preference, you might feel a tiny bit of heat.
The Taste Of Cubanelle Peppers
Cubanelle peppers are quite colorful, slightly sweeter, and crunchier than a typical bell pepper. Think about pan-frying them and adding some salt to them for a quick snack. They do have thinner walls, making them suitable for stuffing and either grilling or baking because the thinner walls don’t require a lengthy cook time.
Substitute For Cubanelle Pepper
1. The best Option is Anaheim Pepper
When compared to the cubanelle, the Anaheim is much hotter (500 to 2,500 Scoville heat units). But compared to the cubanelle’s mild 100–1,000 SHU, any chili is a step up. However, both of them are still mild chilies, so we are only talking about a slight increase in simmer, not a severe heat wave.
When it comes to flavor, Anaheim peppers are similar enough to a cubanelle to work in most recipes. The thicker walls of Anaheim chilies make them better for stuffing than frying; however, if necessary, they can be substituted for frying peppers. Anaheim chilies don’t quite compare to frying peppers.
2. The Easy To Find Alternative is Bell Pepper
With this option, you are stepping down to zero heat, but the cubanelle is not that far behind. Naturally, bell peppers can be found wherever produce is sold. Since both are sweet peppers, the flavors are comparable. When Anaheim chili is unavailable, it’s at least close enough to substitute.
However, the bell also has thick walls, making it ideal for stuffing but less so for frying. However, it can be used as a frying pepper, just like the Anaheim pepper. Although Anaheim is slightly superior to the other, many recipes call for sautéed bell peppers.
3. An Option With A Tang is Banana Pepper
Yes, there is a difference in flavor. It’s not always a good idea to substitute the banana pepper because it has a sweet tang to it. However, they do share a similar heat profile—the banana pepper has a SHU range of 0 to 500—and is frequently used as a pizza and sandwich topping. The banana pepper is an option to try if your recipe could use a little more tang.
In addition, banana peppers have thinner walls than our other replacements, so pan-frying or sautéing should work out okay for them. But because those walls are so thick, they also stuff fairly well.
4. An Option With Earthiness is Poblano Pepper
The poblano has a mild heat profile, only marginally hotter than the cubanelle (1,000–1,500 SHU), making it a suitable replacement in terms of heat. However, the poblano’s flavor tends to be earthy with a hint of sweetness.
How To Cook With Cubanelle Pepper
Cubanelles are classified as sweet peppers, but they can occasionally be mildly hot. According to Pepper Scale, they are common in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, where they play a significant role in Latin American cuisine. Additionally, some sofrito recipes call for peppers; this regionally specific concoction typically consists of onions, garlic, and peppers.
Cubanelles can be sliced and added as a sandwich topping or the ideal addition to pizza in addition to being fried in oil and eaten whole (either fried or raw). Like stuffed bell peppers, they are frequently stuffed with ingredients like chorizo and cheese and baked. Because they require less cooking time than poblanos or bell peppers due to their thinner skin, Cubanelles are ideal for stuffing and baking, according to Chili Pepper Madness. Additionally, their sweet heat provides a good flavor balance with their filling.
Are Cubanelle Peppers Healthy?
Cubanelle peppers are naturally rich in healthy nutrients because they are fruits. According to Bonnie Life, they have a similar nutritional profile to other sweet peppers like bell peppers. According to the website, Cubanelle peppers are a fantastic source of vitamins C and A as well as vitamin B6.
According to Nutritionix, Cubanelle peppers have no fat and only 20 calories per pepper. Additionally, with only 4 grams of carbohydrates, these peppers are ideal as a light snack.