What Are Peppadew Peppers?

Peppadews deliver a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, crunchy zip. Here’s everything you need to know about this deliciously snack-able pepper.

Peppadew Peppers
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Maybe you've been browsing a salad bar or snacking on a charcuterie spread and stumbled upon Peppadew peppers. Sweet and tangy with a sneaky kick of fruity heat, these unique peppers pack a wallop in the flavor department. At first glance, they look like a standard pickled cherry pepper, but anyone who has crunched on these snappy, flavorful veggies will tell you they're anything but standard.

What are Peppadews?

"Peppadew" is the trademarked brand name for the primary company that produces these sweet, spicy, and tangy pickled Juanita piquanté peppers. Peppadews are small red (and sometimes yellow) peppers. They're mostly sweet with a slight tinge of heat; the Peppadew brand describes their peppers as "sweet piquanté," so sweet and a little spicy. The pickling liquid complements these sweet, fruity peppers with an acidic kick. Peppadews are perfect for anyone who enjoys sweet cherry peppers or roasted red peppers but craves a little more kick.

Are Peppadew Peppers Hot?

Peppadews are mild peppers by nature and are packed in a sweet and slightly tangy brine. They have a very tame punch of heat and are considered a mild, sweet pepper overall. They're less sour than pepperoncini and more complex than a standard roasted red pepper, with a crunchy bite that will entice even the most skeptical snackers. If you don't like a lot of heat but want a lot of peppery flavor, Peppadews are definitely for you.

Where to Buy Peppadew Peppers

Peppadews will sometimes pop up at your local, well-stocked grocery store, especially chains like Sprouts and Whole Foods. Since they're great with charcuterie and antipasti, you may also find them at your local Italian specialty foods store or deli. If you aren't having any luck in person, you can buy jars from online retailers like Amazon and Nuts.com, or websites for specialty food stores.

Ways to Use Peppadew Peppers

Peppadews have such a delicious and unique flavor, they're delicious by themselves as part of an antipasti plate or served with creamy cheeses. One of the most delicious ways to prepare Peppadews is to stuff them. Their tiny openings can make it a bit tricky, but if you have a pastry bag or even a zip-top bag with a small section of the corner trimmed off, it's easy to get the hang of it. Ricotta, mascarpone, or any other soft, creamy cheese is best for the filling; just make sure to season generously with salt and pepper.

Lemon zest and finely minced fresh herbs, like basil or oregano, are also welcome additions to the filling.

Try This: Spicy Mediterranean Chicken with Sausage-Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Peppadews are also perfect for adding to sandwiches like Italian hoagies or even hot grinders, as well as pizza. If you're a fan of Romesco sauce — a Spanish spread made with bread, almonds, and roasted red peppers — try adding a handful of Peppadews to your next batch along with the standard red peppers.

Substitutes for Peppadew Peppers

Peppadews are widely loved for their incredibly distinct flavor and snappy texture, so there's no perfect substitute, but you have a few options in a pinch. Which one will work best depends on the recipe or application.

Jarred roasted red peppers have a similar, sweet and mild flavor and work great in a recipe that calls for pepper to be blended or incorporated into a sauce — but consider adding an extra splash of acid to the dish to compensate for Peppadews' tartness. Piquillos make a great substitute if you're looking to stuff a small pepper as an appetizer. Their texture is much softer, but they're also sweet with very light heat.

In situations where you want the tanginess of Peppadews, pickled pepperoncini or sweet pickled cherry peppers can work well; pimento can also be substituted in recipes that call for peppadews to be chopped. For snacking on plain, jarred "Sweety Drop" or Biquinho peppers are most similar in flavor and texture, but they can be difficult to find.

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