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Pimento

Pickled cherry peppers
Heat Mild

The pimiento or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) long and 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) wide (medium, elongate). The flesh of the pimiento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. Some varieties of the pimiento type are hot, including the Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande varieties. "Pimiento" is the Spanish word used in English. "Pimento" or "pimentão" are Portuguese words for "bell pepper", while "pimenta" refers both to chili peppers and to black peppercorns. It is typically used fresh, or pickled and jarred.

Stuffing

Green Spanish olives stuffed with pimento visible

These sweet pimiento peppers are also the familiar red stuffing found in prepared Spanish green olives. The pimiento was originally cut into small pieces and shot via hydraulic pump through the olive getting rid of the pit to complement the strong flavor of the olive. For ease of production, pimiento is sometimes pureed and formed with the help of a natural gum (such as sodium alginate or guar gum) into strips. This allows the olive stuffing to be completed by a machine and increases the availability of the olives by lowering their cost of production. However, it also makes the olives less accessible to consumers with peanut allergies, as those individuals may have a cross-reaction to guar, an annual legume mostly produced in India.

Other uses

Pimentos are commonly used for making pimento cheese, a sandwich filling in the Southern United States and the Philippines. Also used for making pimiento loaf.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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