Italian Long Sweet Red Chile Peppers
Inventory, lb : 0
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are elongated, curved to straight pods, averaging 20 to 25 centimeters in length, and have a conical shape that tapers to a point on the non-stem end. The pods often appear twisted with prominent folds and creases, and the skin is smooth, glossy, and waxy, ripening from green to red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp and aqueous, encasing a narrow cavity filled with small white membranes and round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Fresh Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers have a mild, sweet flavor with little to no spice, and when cooked, they develop a complex, smoky-sweet taste.
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are available in the summer through fall.
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are the mature versions of mild, sweet varieties from Italy that belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also commonly referred to as Italianelles or Italian Frying peppers, Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are harvested when the pod is fully mature and at its sweetest flavor. There are many varieties of Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers, and while the peppers are not produced commercially, they are primarily found through local markets, small farms, and home gardeners. The peppers range 0-100 SHU on the Scoville scale, which represents little to no heat, and they are most often used fried, stuffed, or roasted.
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help build collagen in the body and boost the immune system. The peppers also contain some potassium, vitamin A, folate, manganese, and vitamin K.
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, frying, and grilling. When fresh, the peppers can be consumed out-of-hand as a snack, used as a vessel for dips, blended into sauces and salsas, chopped into salads, or diced for fresh relishes. The peppers can also be sliced and stirred into soups, mixed into pasta, sprinkled over pizza, or stuffed with available fillings and roasted. In Italy, Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are traditionally heated in olive oil in a pan and fried until the skin is translucent or browned on both sides. The skin and seeds are left on the pepper as they are believed to add to the overall flavor, and the fried peppers are popularly served as a side dish to grilled meats. The peppers are also cooked with sausage and onions in the well-known dish pepperonata. In addition to cooked preparations, the peppers can be dried, crumbled into a coarse powder, and used as a spice over pasta or cooked meats. Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers pair well with herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, polenta, anchovies, other seafood, and meats such as beef, pork, and poultry. Fresh peppers will keep up to one week when stored whole and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Throughout Southern Italy, Italian Long Sweet Red peppers are famous for stuffing, and each region has its own unique recipes depending on the available ingredients. In the Abruzzo region, Italian Long Sweet Red peppers are stuffed with light ingredients, including vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant, and are mixed with a combination of seafood or cooked meats, a reflection of the town’s positioning between mountains and coastline. The stuffed peppers are also often filled with leftover ingredients in order to reduce food waste and are served alongside a salad as an appetizer. Stuffed peppers are a traditional dish that is passed down between generations within Italian families, and the peppers are commonly grown in home gardens for everyday use.
Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are native to Italy, where they have been cultivated since ancient times. Italian peppers are descendants of peppers originally from Central and South America and were introduced to Europe via Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries. Since their introduction, peppers have been cultivated for many years across Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean and new varieties have been bred for specific traits, like the sweet nature of the Italian Long Sweet Red chile pepper. The peppers were also brought to the United States in the early 20th century through Italian immigrants. Today Italian Long Sweet Red chile peppers are not commercially produced and can be found through small farms at farmer’s markets in Europe and the United States. The seeds are also available through online catalogs for home garden use.