Have you noticed those round glossy, neon red peppers as one of the choices in your supermarket olive bar? Maybe you assumed the bright red color meant they might be hot round Italian cherry peppers and perhaps too spicy for your taste. But chances are they’re something new in the pepper world. They might be “Peppadew” peppers and if they are they’re tangy (but not fiery), sweet and the perfect size to pop in your mouth or use in recipes.
I’ve grown dozens of varieties of peppers over the years and was curious why I’ve never seen the seeds for Peppadew peppers in any of the many seed catalogs I receive every year. What I found out was an interesting story.
The Peppadew is the trademarked brand name of a pepper first grown in the 1990’s in South Africa. The first plant was a naturally occurring hybrid of plants that originated in South America. The seeds and the brining process are registered and guarded trade properties. The first jars of Peppadew peppers were sold in the Unites States in 2000.
More sweet than tart, they are sold seedless and hollowed out. They can be used in any recipe that you’d use a pickled pepper or sweet pickles. They’re perfect chopped and added to chicken, ham, egg or potato salad. My very favorite way to serve them is simply stuffed with an herb spiked cream cheese or goat cheese. They are absolutely delicious and look gorgeous served by themselves or as part of a cheese platter or antipasto. They go great with cocktails and are perfect for holiday entertaining.
I’ve tweaked this recipe in every direction but the basic recipe is still my favorite
Stuffed Peppadew Pepper Appetizer
10 ounces pickled Peppadew peppers
6 ounces cream cheese (or mild goat cheese)
½ teaspoon each finely minced parsley and green onion
pinch of coarse black pepper
With a fork mash the herbs together with the room temperature cheese.
Drain the peppers well and pat dry on paper towels. Carefully fill the cavity of each pepper with the cheese mixture and serve.
Makes about 20 bite sized stuffed peppers.