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Cherry peppers.jpg
Cherry peppers
SpeciesCapsicum annuum
Heat Mild
Scoville scale100–500 SHU
Pickled cherry peppers

A pimiento (Spanish pronunciation: [piˈmjento]), pimento, or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 in (7 to 10 cm) long and 2 to 3 in (5 to 7 cm) wide (medium, elongate).

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 fruits are typically used fresh or pickled. The pimiento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper.


Pimiento is originally a Spanish term that was added to English (a loanword). Pimento (Portuguese pronunciation: [piˈmẽtu]) or pimentão ([pimẽˈtɐ̃w]) are Portuguese words for "bell pepper," which are essentially different from what the word pimento denotes in English. In Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa and Asia, the word pimenta refers to peppercorns and chili peppers (also known as "piri piri" or malagueta), while in Brazil, the word pimenta ([piˈmẽtɐ]) alone conveys chili (with malagueta being a particularly hot, small variety). Pimenta-do-reino (i.e. [Portuguese] Kingdom's pepper) is used to refer to peppercorns. The kind of pepper known as pimento in English corresponds to a variey named in Brazil as "pimenta pitanga."


Green Spanish olives stuffed with red pimiento peppers

"Sweet" (i.e., neither sour nor savory) pimiento peppers are 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 by a hydraulic pump into one end of each olive, simultaneously inserting the pimiento in the center while ejecting the pit out the other end.

More recently, for ease of production,[1] pimientos are often puréed then 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.

Other uses[edit]

Pimientos are commonly used for making pimento cheese.[2][3][4][5] It is also used for making pimento loaf, a type of processed sandwich meat.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Patent description of stuffing manufacturing.
  2. ^ Pixie Sevilla-Santos. "Homemade Cheese Pimiento". Yummy.PH. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Cheese Pimiento Sandwich Spread". panlasangpinoy.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Filipino Cheese Pimiento". filipino-food-recipes.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  5. ^ TaGa_Luto. "Inato lang Filipino Cuisine and More". bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  • Webster's Dictionary of the English Language – Unabridged Encyclopedic Edition, Publishers International Press, New York, 1977.