Cherry Chile Pepper Stats
Length: 1 - 2"
Width: 1 - 2"
Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum
Other Names: hungarian cherry pepper, cherry bomb pepper
Scoville Range: 100 - 3,500
Cherry Chile Pepper Origin and History
The cherry pepper traces its origins back thousands of years to Mexico, Central America, and South America. It reached England from the West Indies in the mid 1700s.
Cherry Chile Pepper Description
The small, round fruits are the size of cherry tomatoes, hence the name. The bright red fruit has sweetness and a moderately mild to medium heat. Each pod is full of many seeds, which are hotter than the flesh. The compact, bushy plants reach about 3 feet high, and have thin, oval dark green leaves on stiff stems.
Cherry peppers have thick flesh, making them unsuitable for drying.
Cherry Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use
Cherry peppers are the perfect size for pickling and brining which are very popular uses in Hungarian cuisine. The thick walls of the cherry chile absorb the pickling juice and enrich the flavor. In fact, the most common commercial use of this chile is pickled in brine.
Hungarian cooks also smoke whole peppers, giving them a rich, smoky flavor and meaty character. Smoked cherry peppers are only recently available in the U.S.
The round chiles can be sliced for fresh salsa or combined with tomatillos in salsa verde. Cherry peppers perform well in three-bean salad, on pizza, and in sweet and sour dishes. They make colorful accompaniments to sandwiches and salads.
Cherry pepper jelly goes well with cream cheese and crackers as an appetizer. It also provides a pleasant kick as a glaze on pork.
Cherry peppers lend themselves to being stuffed. Filled with cheese (and sometimes sausage), battered, and fried in oil, they are called cherry poppers. Cherry pepper shooters are an Italian-American antipasto dish that involves wrapping aged provolone cheese in a slice of prosciutto and stuffing it into a pickled cherry pepper.
While most recipes use red cherry peppers, people do eat fresh peppers while they are still green (and less hot).
Because they are compact, cheerful, and colorful, cherry pepper plants are also used in ornamental plantings, often in decorative containers on patios and in small gardens. Pepper plants that are sold for ornamental use may have been treated with chemicals that make the fruits unsafe to eat.
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