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Pepperoncini



These are the peppers that Italians have bred over the past few centuries to be sweet with just a bit of zing, perfect to go with Italian cooking. They grow about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, and have wrinkled skin. They are either picked and used green, or let ripen to a slightly hotter red. They are often included as part of a pickled antipasto mixture. Some people might consider them "hot peppers", but they are actually still sweet peppers with just a bit of nip to them.

They are sold fresh, pickled or dried and flaked. There is some confusion as to whether "Pepperoncini" refers to them only when they are pickled, but the name in fact applies to the peppers in any state.

Heat level: 100 - 500 Scoville units.

Substitutes

Red Bell Peppers are too sweet and won't have enough zing. On the other end of the scale, Serrano Chile Peppers would be way too hot. You want a pepper somewhere in between the two. Banana Peppers, though way bigger, might do the trick if your recipe is going to have you chop them up anyway. But if a recipe calls for 1 Pepperoncino (the singular), then only use an equivalent amount of a bigger pepper.

Literature & Lore

The "c" towards the end is pronounced "ch".

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Also called:

Tuscan Peppers; Poivron Pepperoncini (French)

Sweet Peppers

Aleppo Peppers; Banana Peppers; Bell Peppers; Bull's Horn Sweet Pepper; Cubanelle Sweet Pepper; Espelette Chile Peppers; Green Peppers; Marash Peppers; Pepperoncini; Pimiento Peppers; Piquillo Peppers; Ramiro Peppers; Red Peppers; Shepherd Peppers; Sweet Peppers; Urfa Peppers; Yellow Peppers

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"Before Noah, men having only water to drink, could not find the truth. Accordingly...they became abominably wicked, and they were justly exterminated by the water they loved to drink. This good man, Noah, having seen that all his contemporaries had perished by this unpleasant drink, took a dislike to it; and God, to relieve his dryness, created the vine and revealed to him the art of making le vin. By the aid of this liquid he unveiled more and more truth."

-- Benjamin Franklin (American statesman. 17 January 1706 – 17 April 1790)

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