The Pimento Pepper

Another name for pimento or pimento is cherry pepper. It is a large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper variety that is 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) wide and between 3 and 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) long (medium, elongate). Pimientos come in a variety of hues, including maroon, red, green, and yellow. Some species change color from green to red as they mature.

Compared to red bell peppers, pimientos have sweeter, more succulent, and more aromatic flesh. The Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande pimiento types are two examples of hot varieties. Typically, the fruits are eaten fresh or pickled. The pimiento is a chili pepper with one of the lowest Scoville scale values.

More About Pimento Pepper

A type of pepper is pimento or pimiento. Due to their red color and rounded, heart-shaped fruit, they are also referred to as cherry peppers. In addition to red, green, and yellow, they also come in maroon. Some species change color from green to red as they mature. Typically, they are 5 to 7 cm wide and 7 to 10 cm long. Pimentos are a type of pepper with a sweet flavor and very little heat.

You may have consumed pimentos without realizing it. Pimentos are used in specific regions of Spain and the United States to create paprika, a popular spice made by finely powdering a variety of peppers. Chefs all over the world frequently choose the mild, sweet flavor of paprika made with pimentos over the scorching heat of other spices like cayenne. The Scoville scale rates pimentos between 100 and 500 heat units, making them one of the mildest pepper species.

What Does A Pimento Pepper Taste Like?

Pimento peppers are mild, sweet, and succulent rather than spicy. Although they are frequently pickled, you can also eat them straight from the garden. Use them in foods requiring the Cajun Holy Trinity or perhaps a good sofrito recipe, much like you would red bell peppers. Some varieties, like the Santa Fe Grande and Floral Gem varieties, are hot. As they are a good size for stuffing, they are also excellent for dehydrating and grinding into chili powders. Pimento peppers and other mild or sweet peppers are used to make the common spice paprika.

However, pimento will work if you want to give a dish just a hint of zing as well as some mystery since not many people are familiar with it. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be able to detect their distinct sweet and mildly peppery presence right away.

How Hot is The Pimento Pepper?

The Scoville Scale only rates pimento peppers between 500 and 1,000, making them some of the mildest peppers available. The hottest pimento would be approximately five times milder than an average jalapeño, which ranges in heat from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units. 

How To Use Pimento Pepper?

When preparing them, just like with other peppers, you throw away the stems. In Mediterranean cooking, it’s frequently diced and stuffed into Spanish or Manzanilla olives. In the United States, pimento-stuffed olives are a common addition to martinis and are present in the pimento bread that our grandmothers used to slice and serve as a sandwich spread. A popular dinner party appetizer known as “the caviar of the South” and made with pimentos is pimento cheese, which is spread on crackers or bread. Alternatively, you could stuff them like in stuffed mini peppers with rice or cheese and serve them as a portable appetizer on their own.

Beyond those uses, you can use pimentos anywhere a bell pepper would be used. Consider Mexican food, such as chilis and soups, which go well with beans and in tacos but are also delicious when combined with pasta, risotto, and other grains.

Etymology of Pimento Pepper

What English speakers refer to as a “pimento” or “pimiento” has an intriguing etymology. The term “pimento” originally referred to a different thing, and it still has a different meaning in English, Spanish, and Portuguese today. 

The Spanish word “pimiento” and the Portuguese word “pimento” are both derivations of the Latin word pigmentum, which means “pigment.” Over time, the meaning of those words expanded in each of their respective languages, and today, speakers of these Iberian languages use “pimento” and “pimiento” as catch-all terms to refer to any pepper. 

Health Benefits of Pimento Pepper

Pimentos are a good source of vitamin E as well as being high in vitamins C, A, and K. Pimentos have very low levels of cholesterol and saturated fat. You can spice up your healthy diet for the winter season by using pimento pepper. Essential minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and iron are abundant in pimentos.

Does Pimento Pepper Have Anything To Do With Spanish Paprika?

Yes and no, I suppose. Spanish paprika, also known as pimentón, comes in a few different varieties and is distinguished from its Hungarian counterpart by being smoked over an oak fire. It is not necessary to make paprika (Spanish or otherwise) from pimento peppers, though they are occasionally used when sweeter paprika is preferred to something spicy.

Pimento-stuffed Olives

Though it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact date of the start of many culinary customs, there is evidence to suggest that pimento-stuffed olives have been a Provence region of France tradition since the 18th century. The potently salty, briny, bitter taste of olive can pack a punch, so it makes sense to balance it out with something mild and sweet. Even though the custom has persisted, stuffing pimento into an olive required quite a bit of manual labor up until about 50 years ago. It wasn’t until 1962 that Sadrym, a company based in Seville, Spain, developed an automatic olive stuffing machine, speeding up the process significantly. 

Nowadays, pimento in olives is more likely to be diced or mashed to make stuffing more effective. You can add this recipe to your healthy holiday eating. Making an escape hole for the pit, pushing it out the other end, and then injecting some of that pimento mixture into the space that is left behind are the steps in the procedure.