Peperoncini (or pepperoncini) are a variety of the species Capsicum annuum. While called peperoncini in American English, peppers of this particular kind, in Italy, are called peperone (plural peperoni) like other sweet varieties of peppers, while the term peperoncini (singular peperoncino) is used for hotter varieties of chili peppers. The Greek varieties are sweeter and less bitter than the Italian varieties grown in Tuscany. Peperoncini are mild with a slight heat and a hint of bitterness, and are commonly pickled and sold packaged in jars.
Peperoncini grow on a bushy plant that reaches 30 inches (77 cm) in height and produces sweet green peppers that turn red when mature. Usually picked at 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) long, these bright green, wrinkled peppers taper to a blunt, lobed end.
Peperoncini are typically used in sandwiches, salads, tossed salads served in pizzerias, antipasto platters, and as a garnish to lend dishes a crunchy texture and a salty taste. They are also often served with kebab, such as İskender kebap. Peperoncini are sometimes briefly rinsed in cold water before serving to reduce the effects of the pickling brine on the taste. Pickled peperoncini can vary in color from bright yellow to bright yellow-green. Sometimes coloring is added.