For the unincorporated town, see Pimento, Indiana. For the Jamaican use of the term, see Allspice. For the Better Call Saul episode, see Pimento (Better Call Saul).
Not to be confused with Pimenta.

Pickled cherry peppers
Species Capsicum annuum
Cultivar pimiento
Heat Mild
Scoville scale 100–500 SHU

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. Pimiento is an originally Spanish term that was added to English (a loanword). The fruits are typically used fresh or pickled. The pimiento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper.

Pimento (Portuguese pronunciation: [piˈmẽtu]) or pimentão ([pimẽˈtɐ̃w]) are Portuguese words for "bell pepper". In Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa and Asia, pimenta refers to peppercorns and chili peppers are known as "piri piri" or malagueta, while in Brazil, pimenta ([piˈmẽtɐ]) alone conveys chili (malagueta being a particularly hot, small variety) – pimenta-do-reino (i.e. [Portuguese] Kingdom's pepper) is used to refer to peppercorns.


Green Spanish olives stuffed with red pimiento peppers

"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 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. 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.

Other uses

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


  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.
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