Roquito peppers are sweet, and mildly spicy peppers shaped like teardrop pearls and hail from the depths of the Peruvian Amazon in Peru, South America.
They are a part of the Capsicum pubescens family and the origins of these types of peppers date back to pre-Incan times and are believed to be some of the oldest domesticated plants in the Americas.
The Roquito peppers come in an array of bright and vibrant shades of reds, yellows, and oranges and because of their mild spicy, yet sweet taste, many recipes use Roquito Peppers as a flavor additive to enhance the spice ever so slightly without offsetting the father flavors in the dishes.
These peppers are usually marinated in a natural sugar cane brine and offer great crunch and delicate spice to any meal.
Whether you are a spice-lover or someone who just enjoys the distinct sweet and spicy combinations of flavors, Roquito peppers provide all of that for you.
How Hot Are Roquito Peppers?
Roquito Peppers are mostly used in Mexican and other South American cuisines as a added layer of flavor.
The peppers pack quite a lot of punch for their small size but are mostly regarded as being a sweet pepper and not a hot pepper like your Scotch Bonnets or Caroline Reaper varieties of peppers.
They have a balanced flavor profile and do not instantly blind you with heat. They are spicy but mild and sweet and because they are mostly found in brined solutions, they do have a tang to them.
The peppers themselves do not rank very highly on the Scoville Heat Unit ranking and come in below that of pepper (which usually ranks between 2,000 and 8,0000 Scoville Heat Units) and are similar in heat ranking to the Peppadew Piquantè peppers on the marked which has a Scoville Heat Unit ranking of 1,177.
This may sound like a lot, but the Carolina Reaper peppers are ranked as the world’s hottest chili pepper by the Guinness Book of World Records as they can top out at over 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units, as a stark contrast.
So the RoquitoⓇ peppers are some of the mildest out there; sweet peppers bottom out at zero Scoville Heat Units.
However, you should always take into consideration the seasonal variations of peppers and growing condition variations on the flavor and even color profile of the peppers-no one single pepper will have the exact same amount of heat or sweetness as another, on any given day.
What Does A Roquito Pepper Look Like?
These peppers are small in size and measure up to be around the size of a garden pea when whole. They have a distinct teardrop shape or pearl shape that have a wide top and narrow pointed bottom.
As mentioned previously, they are available in a wide array of colors such as red, orange and yellow colors. However, you will most likely come across the red varieties, as these are most commonly what are bottled in the brine.
Red Roquito peppers are also the healthiest, packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene, as they have been on the vine and left to develop the longest.
Their color pigments also contain a wide range of phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are essential in sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
What Are Roquito Peppers Used For?
In recent years, and thanks to globalization, these peppers are more available than ever and are growing in popularity in the Over the past decade, the use and popularity of Roquito peppers has increased steadily across various regions, native or otherwise.
The increase in demand has encouraged many retail stores and brands to start supplying them to its growing consumers.
Roquito peppers are most commonly found as a garnish or additive on meals like pizzas. Because of their versatility, though, they are great to use in salads with a cheese such as soft goat’s cheese and arugula.
They can also be used as a spicy element in bolognese sauces or arrabiata-based sauces for pasta dishes or used in mince mixtures used in Mexican cuisine or whole as part of tacos or burritos.
They are also a great addition to sandwiches of deli meats and strong cheeses-giving the sandwich a spicy punch, sweetness and crunch as well.
What Do Roquito Peppers Taste Like?
As mentioned in the text above, these peppers have a unique spicy kick, layered with sweetness and tang from the brine they are marinated in. They are crunchy and add a textural element to any dishes they are served whole in.
They are also not overpowering to other flavors and compliment other ingredients in dishes like salad and pizza well. Their colors also add a fresh and vibrant hue to any dish.
Where To Buy Roquito Peppers From?
Roquito peppers may be tricky to find at your mainstream supermarket, but they are available online and in specialty grocers all over the world. They may be available in their fresh form or in the bottled or tinned form, and you can find them here on Amazon.