What is Pimento (Cherry Pepper)?

Capsicum annum L.

Common name: Pimiento (Spanish)

Pimento or Cherry Pepper is a cultivar of sweet pepper of the species Capsicum annuum. It’s a large heart shaped red sweet pepper, 3-4″ x 2-3” (8-10 x 5-8cm).

The flesh is thick and succulent (meaty) and more flavourful and aromatic than bell pepper. It’s good for roasting.

It’s mostly sold in jars, roasted and peeled. It can also be sold fresh when fully ripe in speciality markets

Large bell peppers are sometimes packaged as Pimentos but true Pimentos are more tomato-orange and bell peppers are bright red in colour.

James Lee [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Culinary Use of Pimento (Cherry Pepper)

Spanish green olives are stuffed with pimento pepper.

Pimientos are commonly used for making pimento cheese.

They are also used for making pimento loaf, a type of processed sandwich meat.

Also used in several dishes, especially salads and pizzas.

Scoville Scale: The pimento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chilli pepper

The Term Pimiento can be confusing

The term ‘pimiento’, from the Spanish for “pepper,” is also applied to several cultivars of the sweet Capsicum annuum that possess a distinctive flavour but lack pungency (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

The name “pimento” is also used for the unrelated allspice tree (Pimenta dioica).

What is the Scoville Scale?

The amount of heat in hot pepper is measured by the Scoville scale, which measures the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers, recorded in Scoville heat units. The units range from 0 (Bell pepper); 100-900 (Paprika, Pimento); 3,500-10,000 (Chipotle, Jalapeño); 30,000-50,000 (Cayenne, Tabasco), 100,000-350,000 (Habanero, Scotch bonnet) to 2,000,200 (Carolina Reaper).


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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