A pimiento or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. 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.The seeds can be sown in pots in the house six to eight weeks before setting outside to harden before planting in the soil. Do not plant them where tomatoes, potatoes or eggplant had been planted, as all are members of the nightshade family. This can cause diseases relative to that family.
The plants are very susceptible to frost and will set fruit when temperatures are over 60 degrees F. The plants do not like water on their leaves and will abort the flower pollen if kept too wet resulting in no fruits. Pimiento is a Spanish loanword. Pimento or pimentao are Portuguese words for "bell pepper," while pimenta refers to peppercorns and chili peppers are known as "piri piri" or "malagueta."
It is typically used fresh, or pickled and jarred. The pimento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper."Sweet" (i.e., neither sour nor savory) pimiento peppers are also the familiar red stuffing found in prepared, Spanish, green olives. Originally, the pimiento was hand-cut into tiny pieces, then hand-stuffed into each olive to balance-out the olive's otherwise strong/salty flavor.
Despite the popularity of the combination, this production method was very costly and time-intensive. In the industrial era, the cut pimiento was shot (via hydraulic pump) into one end of each olive, simultaneously inserting the pimento in the center while ejecting the pit (out the other end).More recently, for ease of production, pimientos are often puréed then (re-)formed into tiny strips, with the help of a natural gum (such as sodium alginate or guar gum).
This allows olive stuffing to be mechanized, speeding the process and lowering production costs. However, guar (an annual legume mostly produced in India) may inadvertently make the olives less accessible to consumers with peanut allergies and legume allergies, as those individuals may have a reaction to the guar. This leaves sodium alginate as a more universal choice.Pimientos are commonly used for making pimento cheese, affectionately known as "the Caviar of the South" in the Southern United States and the Philippines.
It is also used for making pimento loaf, a type of processed sandwich meat.Large red cherry peppers can first be harvested approximately 80 days after transplanting, and will gradually transition from green to bright red at full maturity (around 100 days). The small peppers have a diameter of approximately 1 ½ inches, and are among the mildest chili peppers, typically showing a Scoville heat rating of less than 500 units.
Pimento peppers are commonly used as the filling inside commercially available green olives. The plants themselves usually do not grow higher than 24" and are well-suited for container growing."Alma Paprika" is a pimento-type pepper that is rather unusual, in that the immature peppers are cream colored rather than green. "Tennessee Cheese" is fairly large, and has a moderate DTM for ripe peppers. The walls are thick & have a low moisture content, so you can chop them without them turning into mush... which makes it great for canned salsa. The ripe flavor is not really sweet, I guess I would call it "smokey". It doesn't taste hot.