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:
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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