All About Peppadew Peppers®, Including What They Are and How to Enjoy Them

It's amazing what you can do with a jar of these sweet pickled piquanté peppers.

jar of pepperdew peppers
Photo: Bryan Gardner

Sweetly hot and diminutive, Peppadew Peppers® might be good tossed into salads or even forked straight from their jar, but then they tend to be forgotten. And there that jar lurks, making us feel guilty every time we catch a glimpse of it sulking at the back of the refrigerator.

They may be small, but their plump little piquanté pepper bodies pack so much flavor that we feel they deserve more TLC and attention. Peppadew brand peppers, cherry-pepper in size, are a welcome change from the more familiar and large bell peppers, and their silky texture makes them very adaptable.

What Are Peppadew Peppers®?

Let's back up a bit. To eat a fresh piquanté pepper you would have to travel to South Africa, where they are grown and marketed by Peppadew International. Their sought-after seeds are unavailable to growers other than the designated farmers who produce them in South Africa. This little Capsicum cultivar was developed there in the northern province of Limpopo, after an apparent chance discovery of a pepper with special attributes—possibly a chance hybrid. It was named, branded, and the seed was patented. You could say that that the Peppadew Pepper lives under permanent lockdown.

Stateside, imported Peppadew Peppers are available preserved in jars. There are Internet rumblings that some of these jars actually contain cherry peppers in a spicy brine. We don't know if that is actually true, but they remain delicious, and we like that all the prep work has been done for us: No grilling and deseeding necessary.

How to Use Them

The gentle heat of piquanté peppers makes them a good partner for sweet ingredients, and we love them incorporated in fragrant cornbread. Do you like a little zing in a Margarita? Try our Peppadew Pepper Margarita which has you add a spoonful of Peppadew Pepper brine to the mix to balance the Cointreau when you shake up the classic drink. An appetizer to go with your cocktail? Stuff some mild and fresh farmer's cheese into the spicy openings. We don't need to mention pizza do we? Strew them across your mozzarella base with a flurry of fresh oregano. Toss piquanté peppers into a batch of blender-gazpacho to give it depth and backbone. Peppadew Pepper pesto is easy to whizz up in a food processor, too: Just add toasted almonds, garlic, and olive oil. It is an instant and creamy spread for your favorite crackers or crusty bread and a divinely fast sauce for pasta.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles