Lipstick Chile Peppers
Inventory, lb : 0
Lipstick chile peppers are short, stocky pods, averaging 5 to 10 centimeters in length, and have a conical shape that tapers to a blunt, rounded point on the non-stem end. The skin is waxy, taut, shiny, and smooth, ripening from dark green to bright red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thick, aqueous, firm, and crisp, encasing a central cavity filled with membranes and round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Lipstick chile peppers are aromatic when sliced with an earthy, vegetal scent and have a mild, sweet, and fruity flavor containing no heat.
Lipstick chile peppers are available in the late summer through fall.
Lipstick chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are a sweet, heatless variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The juicy peppers are a variety of pimento pepper, which is a non-spicy cultivar known to have one of the lowest Scoville ratings of any chile pepper, averaging less than 500 SHU. Lipstick chile peppers are rumored to be named for their elongated shape and vibrant red coloring, similar in appearance to the famous cosmetic, and were developed as a cold-tolerant variety for regions with cooler summers. Lipstick chile peppers are not commercially cultivated and are considered to be a specialty variety. The peppers are grown as a culinary ingredient, favored for its thick flesh and full-bodied, sweet flavor.
Lipstick chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and contain vitamins E, K, and B6, potassium, manganese, fiber, folate, and thiamin. The peppers also contain lycopene, which is an antioxidant that has been known to help protect the body and immune system against free radicals.
Lipstick chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, baking, simmering, and frying. The peppers are highly favored for their thick, sweet flesh and can be used in place of any mild to medium heat chile in recipes. Lipstick chile peppers can be consumed fresh, out-of-hand, and are popularly stuffed with cheeses, vegetables, grains, and meats. They can also be chopped into green salads, diced into salsas, cooked into sauces, or minced into relishes. Lipstick chile peppers are often associated with Spanish cuisine due to their pimento heritage and are roasted or fried to develop sweet and savory flavors. The peppers can be blistered and utilized as a topping on burgers, marinated in olive oil and vinegar to be served as an appetizer, chopped and simmered into pasta sauce, stirred into soups and stews, or sliced and sprinkled over pizza. Lipstick chile peppers pair well with tomatoes, corn, potatoes, aromatics such as garlic, onions, and ginger, meats such as beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, shellfish, cheeses such as mozzarella, cheddar, and jack, and herbs such as mint, cilantro, and oregano. Fresh Lipstick peppers will keep 1 to 2 weeks when stored whole and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Lipstick chile peppers were intentionally bred as a cold-tolerant, sweet variety for home gardening. Many pepper cultivars require warm temperatures to produce flavorful pods and are unable to be successfully grown in specific regions. Lipstick chile peppers were created to meet the market demand for a cool summer variety and have become one of the most sought-after specialty peppers for gardens in the Northern Hemisphere. Lipstick chile peppers are wildly popular in the United Kingdom, favored for their early maturing, highly prolific nature. The peppers can be seen at local farmer’s markets, when in season, and are also grown in home gardens for everyday culinary use. In Dorset, Southwest England, Lipstick chile peppers are featured at the Great Dorset Chili Festival, which is an annual event celebrating all types of chile peppers. During the festival, there are informational booths to assist growers in finding new garden varieties, including Lipstick peppers, and food vendors showcase the diversity of sweet and hot peppers by creating a wide variety of main dishes, desserts, and hot sauces. The Great Dorset Chili Festival has been held for ten years and is considered to be one of the top chile festivals in the United Kingdom.
Lipstick chile peppers are descendants of original pimiento varieties that are native to Central and South America and have been cultivated since ancient times. Pimento peppers were then introduced to Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries via Spanish and Portuguese explorers, where they became increasingly popular for their use in the spice, sweet paprika. Over time, many new varieties of pimento peppers were created throughout Europe, with some experts tracing the origins of Lipstick peppers to Hungary. Today Lipstick chile peppers can be found at farmer’s markets and specialty grocers across the United States and Europe. The sweet peppers can also be found through online seed catalogs for home garden use.
Recipes that include Lipstick Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Birmingham Food Girl||Goat Cheese-Stuffed Red Peppers|
|Figments||Grilled White Nectarines, Lipstick Peppers, Soppressata with Fresh Ricotta, Basil, Rocolla & Lemon-Fennel-Chili Vinaigrette|
|Suzanne Somers||Roasted Lipstick Peppers with Pecorino|