Adding chili peppers to your recipe can mean the difference between serving a mediocre dish and wowing with a flavorful gourmet cuisine.
Although chili peppers are associated with spice, the piquillo pepper brings something new to the table. Discover all the must-know facts about piquillo peppers, and why they are a popular alternative to the eye-watering effect of its relatives.
This article reveals everything you need to know about the piquillo pepper. Discover the key facts, their SHU and if you will need a fire hydrogen close by. Learn about its appearance, flavor and why it is used.
Scroll further down to find which recipes the piquillo pepper features and how to cook and prepare it for perfect results. Don’t forget to read our overview for more information too.
What Is The Piquillo Pepper?
The piquillo pepper is a type of sweet chili pepper that is grown in Northern Spain. Typically Navarra. This pepper is grown in pots and harvested in the months of September and December.
The pepper is used in many recipes and is considered to be a signature ingredient. The Spanish translation for piquillo pepper is ‘little beak’. A great feature of this pepper’s cultivation and processing is sustainability.
They are produced 100% organically. No chemicals whatsoever are involved at any stage.
They usually grow to 2.5 – 3-inches long, but the plants can reach up to 3ft in length. Once matured, their appearance is a deep and rich red color. The end of the pod narrows to a point, giving them the look of a beak.
Piquillo peppers are available in 2 types. The red piquillo is the one most people know of and use. However, piquillo peppers are also harvested before achieving full ripeness. These are green in color with less sweetness and a distinct sharpness in taste.
How Hot Are Piquillo Peppers?
Piquillo peppers are not the type of chili that is going to dissolve your insides. They mesure between 500 – 1000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) on the Scovile Heat Scale. As such, these are a heat-free chili pepper.
Basically, you can think of them as sweet chili peppers whose wow-factor characteristics rely solely on taste. That said, the irresistible flavor produced by the piquillo pepper makes them a firm favorite for most.
So, what do these widely enjoyed peppers taste like? You can expect a deliciously sweet flavor to encompass your taste buds. It’s unique and moreish sweetness is underpinned with tangy tones.
These beautiful flavors are wrapped in soft smokey tones. You can detect a very subtle hint of heat. It is barely there, but just enough to be a reminder of its chili pepper status.
The unique sweet and smokey flavors of the piquillo are due to their processing once harvested. This includes roasting them in a little oil. Following this they are peeled and seeded in preparation for the next harvesting process.
How Are Piquillo Peppers Eaten?
When eaten raw, these peppers deliver a veritable taste of sweet and sharp delight.
The piquillo peppers are mainly found in popular Spanish dishes such as Tapas. Tapas meals offer an array of different ingredients that are all combined with the piquillo.
This pepper is a go-to for a long list of recipes. They are frequently served roasted, fried, stuffed and pickled. Furthermore they make a great accompaniment to your favorite soup.
Benefits Of The Piquillo Pepper
Other than their obvious and undeniable taste sensation, the piquillo provides a rich supply of nutritional benefits. These include antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, and E, and beta-carotene too.
Varieties Of Piquillo Peppers Available to Buy
When it comes to buying this tasty pepper, we are spoiled for choice. Online stores provide a wide variety of products to suit every individual preference. You don’t have to look far to find fire roasted, grilled, sweet and sour, jarred piquillo spreads, piquillo strips, and whole piquillo peppers.
If you are thinking of trying this prized ingredient, why not try El Navarrico Roasted Piquillo Pepper Strips – Tiras de Piquillo.
This fire-roasted product is the perfect ingredient to upgrade your meal. El Navarrico Roasted Pepper Strips are imported from Spain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Piquillo Peppers And Red Peppers?
The piquillo pepper offers a difference in flavor. This pepper unleashes more taste complexity than the red pepper. Whereas the red pepper is sweet and almost fruity in appeal, the piquillo combines sweetness with a notable tang.
The smokey elements, although subtle, give the pepper a very slight bitter edge. If you are after straightup sweetness, choose the red pepper. However, for more flavor complexity, the piquillo is best.
Should your cuisine feel a little on the bland side, why not give the piquillo a try?