Peppadew™ is the trademarked brand name of peppers from a pepper plant called “Piquanté.”
The trademark on the name is held by Peppadew International Ltd of South Africa.
The Piquanté bush grows up to 1 1/2 metres tall (5 feet), bearing up to 50 to 60 chiles per bush.
The peppers ripen over a four month period, with peppers lowest on the bush ripening first. The peppers are small and round, only about 2 to 3 cm tall (1 inch), with bright red thin flesh walls. They look like a cross between cherry tomatoes and small red peppers.
The taste is sweet with a bit of heat, but not to a level that would impress most chile lovers.
The brand name of Piquanté peppers called Peppadew is grown by Johan Steenkamp, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. More accurately, they are grown for him by contracted farmers on farms near Tzaneen, which is near the Kruger National Park, in the north-eastern province of South Africa called “Limpopo province” (just south of the Zimbabwe border.) Steenkamp gives them six-week old seedlings to start the bushes from.
Peppadew Peppers are sold pickled whole in jars and in large cyrovac pacs, with stems and seeds already removed.
There are two styles, one mild and one “hot.”
The pickling solution is made from sugar, distilled vinegar, salt, and ascorbic acid, with calcium chloride as well to help firm up the peppers. The “hot” variety has ground chile added to the pickling solution, and that’s what makes them “hotter” than the mild ones.
They are also sold processed into a liquid condiment sauce, a salsa, and a ketchup. They are not sold fresh.
The juice from the jar can be used in marinades or salad dressings.
Refrigerate the jar after opening; use within 8 weeks.
In 1994, Johan Steenkamp found peppers growing near one of his homes in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. He tasted them, and found them very hot (at least to his tastebuds. It’s not known if he’s ever tasted a habanero, to get a general idea of what the upper end of the hot scale is.)
He saved the seeds from the peppers, and planted them. He called the actual plant “Piquanté.”
He had botanists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research verify that it was a separate variety of chile plant that had sprung up, and he established the trademarks, and registered international plant breeders’ rights for that pepper plant. The plant, obviously, is a hybrid that occurred naturally, from plants that originated in the New World, as peppers are not native to Africa.
Many South Africans find even bell peppers hot to their tastes, so there’s a reasonable chance the parents would have been sweet pepper plants, as opposed to chile pants.
Steenkamp began experimenting with bottling the peppers. In his first trials, both the bottles and the chiles in them exploded.
The first country abroad they were sold in was Ireland in 2000. Approved for sale in America by the FDA in May 1999.
Peppadew™ is a trademarked name. The name Peppadew applies to the processed peppers in the jar, not the plant.
The company doesn’t encourage Peppadew to be used as an adjective, as in “Peppadew Soup.”
McClelland, Angie. A winner of a weed. Johannesburg, South Africa: Sunday Times. 13 June 1999.