Pepperoncini actually describes the hotter, spicier variety of chili peppers in Italy. In America however, the term is used to describe the sweeter "Italian" pepper, most often yellow to yellowish green. The American pepperoncini have a slight heat, and a mild bitterness and are often sold pickled and jarred.


Other names: Pepperoncini, Tuscan Peppers, Sweet Italian Peppers, Peperoncini, Pepperoncino, Peperoncino, Golden Greek Peppers
Translations: Peperoncini, Пепперонцини

Physical Description

Pepperoncini are usually picked when they're about 2 - 3 inches long and are bright green, bright yellow, or bright yellow-green. The peppers are often long and wrinkled with a lobed end.

Colors: Yellow to yellowish green.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Mild, with a slight heat and a touch of bitterness. Though there are spicier varieties available, most often depending the brine used for a particular batch.
Mouthfeel: A slight crunch with just a hint of "pickled" feeling.
Substitutes: When used pickled, Banana peppers or wax peppers can be substituted for pepperoncini in some recipes.

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Find a brand of pickled pepperoncini that looks good to you. Quite often they can be found in mixed pickled vegetables as well as by themselves.
Buying: Pepperoncini are available at most super-markets, chain-stores, corner markets, salad bars, sandwich shops and delis.
Procuring: Pepperoncini are grown in much the same way as other pepper plants. You can start them as seeds, or buy plants already started in ready-paks.

Preparation and Use

Pepperoncini are most often used to top sandwiches, tossed in with salads (especially Greek salads), and as appetizers. They're also popular to use as garnishes for Italian foods.

Cleaning: Since, for the most part, pepperoncini come pickled in jars, there isn't really any point in cleaning them. However, if you grow them yourself, be sure to rinse them thoroughly under cold running water and make sure the skin is free of any dust before use.
Slice off the stem end. If you don't like the seeds or ribs, simply split the pepper down the middle and use the edge of your blade to scrape out the seeds and ribs.

Conserving and Storing

Pepperoncini take extremely well to pickling.

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