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Peppadew peppers -- the best peppers ever?

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I first discovered Peppadew peppers in Panera's Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, a delicious combination of feta cheese, jalapeno-cilantro hummus, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, onions, and those peppers on Panera's tomato basil bread. I'm not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a tasty sandwich during the rare times I end up there, with a unique spicy flavor I was never able to place. Interestingly, the menu includes a "TM" after Peppadew, which they also capitalize, like it's a brand name (which I found out it is).

Months later, I discovered Publix supermarket stocks Peppadew peppers in little plastic containers in the refrigerated deli case near the prepared salads, hummus, fresh salsas, and all that good stuff. They were a little pricy, but I had to try them alone, to see if they were really that good. They WERE.

The Peppadews I bought were swimming in brine, which I discarded. It didn't have a lot of flavor on its own. The little peppers are about as spicy as pickled jalapenos, but not nearly as spicy as fresh jalapenos. However, they don't taste anything like jalapenos, and they're also extremely sweet to balance out the heat. Even after being pickled, they had a pleasant crispy crunchiness, and they are the brilliant bright red you associate with maraschino cherries. And they're tiny, too -- about the size of a small cherry tomato, but the core and most inner seeds are removed, so they're hollow (and perfect for stuffing with cream cheese, trust me on this).

So Peppadew is the official brand name of these little peppers, which were apparently discovered in South Africa in the '90s, but they're now grown in New Jersey as well. There is an official website for them with more information:

http://www.peppadewfresh.com/

If anyone here likes putting peppers in sandwiches or salads, using them in recipes, or just eating them straight if you're a weirdo like me, you really need to try these. You may discover they're hard to find or relatively expensive compared to most jarred pickled peppers, but wow, they are really something special.

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  1. I like to blend them with chèvre cheese...maks an awesome spread

    3 Replies
    1. re: LaLa

      Or stuff them with chèvre cheese for a quick tapa.

      1. re: Crockett67

        Another great tapa is peppadew stuffed with alici (fresh anchovies). I find them at the smoked fish counter in the supermarket.

        1. re: boredough

          Nice! I will have to try that next time as well. :)

    2. I've grown Peppadews for two years, using seed from a swap, and thought they were ok, just not as good as you relate. Of course, considering the source, I can't guarantee that I had the real thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DonShirer

        Careful, you might get sued. The owners of the trademark are real jerks about that sort of thing, which is why they'll never see one cent from me.

      2. Count me as a fan.

        They're great, diced up, in things like tuna and chicken salad.

        Sometimes I'll add them to fried rice (again diced up).

        And, every once in a while, I'll get very devious and make some "kimchi-Peppadew peppers" slaw ...

        1. By far the best tasting pepper I have ever had! Great balance of sweetness & heat. If you don't like hot peppers these may change your mind!

          1. I rec'd a jar as a gift (I believe it was purchased from Murray's Cheese) some time ago and fell in love.

            My veggie sandwich somewhat resembles the OP and consists of sliced peppadew's, a slab of feta cheese, romaine lettuce, sliced cukes, a mash of green olives, sliced tomatoes on tomato-basil bread that has been smeared with plain hummus. Spicy and so fresh tasting!

            1. Peppadews are delicious and they make a great go-to party appetizer stuffed with goat cheese and honey or cream cheese. I think the best pepper ever is probably the piquillo (similar to a roasted red but with a smoky flavor) or maybe the Padron...both from Spain. I was at a restaurant that described a flatbread as having piquillos on top. When it arrived, those weren't piquillos, they were peppadews. Big, big difference. But needless to say, we didn't send it back. The peppadews were a great addition to the flatbread.

              1. They're good, but frankly I wouldn't brand them as "the best peppers ever". Considering how many wonderful peppers there are in the world, that's a rather outrageous stretch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bacardi1

                  I can't eat the REALLY hot ones, like habaneros and ghost chilis. Well, I could, but I'd be miserable and spend the next several hours on the toilet. To me, Peppadews just have an incredible flavor, reasonably spicy and plenty sweet, which is a rarity.

                2. I agree. But I think a lot of what makes them so good is the brine - sweet and vinegary with a shot of hot. Yum! Love them. Great in salads with citrus fruit.

                  1. love them minced in my tuna salad!

                    1. Peppadew are fairly versatile and do have a good flavor base. You can make some incredible Horse Douvers (Hors D'Ouvres for all the un-Okiefied") with all the ideas mentioned here. You can also take Jalapenos and pickle them to taste just as good and with more or less kick by adjusting seed and vein amounts. Serrano chiles are my personal favorite for flavor and heat but Habanero are a close second, tied with Jalapeno because of versatility. Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) are beyond my comprehension for any reason other than trying to show how tough you are or trying to make it on Food Channel or Discovery. Those fool things will make a the Devil himself cry like a little girl. Most peppers and chiles have a good range of uses but so much depends on the application, ingredients and users expectation I think it is impossible to name any pepper, "Best In The World".

                      1. For my tastes, I really do not like added sugar to my pickled vegetables, On the ingredient list sugar is the third ingredient out of 8, behind #1 peppers, #2 water #3 sugar...........
                        This product is yet another example of "hidden" sugar in prepared foods. Know what you are eating..................