Pimiento peppers
SpeciesCapsicum annuum
Heat Mild
Scoville scale100–500 SHU
Pickled cherry peppers

A pimiento or 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).

Pimientos can have various colors including yellow, green, red, and maroon. Some are green when immature and turn red when they reach maturity.[1]

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.


Spanish pimiento and Portuguese pimento both come from Latin pigmentum ("pigment; coloring") and came to be used for bell peppers. The English borrowed "pimiento" and "pimento" as loanwords for what is distinguished in Spanish as pimentón and in Portuguese as pimentão.[citation needed]


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 or Greek 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.

More recently, for ease of production, 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.[2][3]

Other uses

Pimientos are commonly used for making pimento cheese.[4][5][6][7] It is also used for making pimento loaf, a type of processed sandwich meat.

See also


  1. ^ Bosland, Paul W.; Votava, Eric J.; Votava, Eric M. (2012). Peppers: Vegetable and Spice Capsicums. CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-825-3.
  2. ^ Kovalchik, Kara (2023-08-01) [A version of this story originally ran 2014-02-07; it has been updated.]. "What Are Pimentos, And How Do They Get Inside Olives?". Mental Floss. Retrieved 2024-01-08.
  3. ^ Patent description Archived 2017-03-27 at the Wayback Machine of stuffing manufacturing.
  4. ^ Pixie Sevilla-Santos. "Homemade Cheese Pimiento". Yummy.PH. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Cheese Pimiento Sandwich Spread". panlasangpinoy.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Filipino Cheese Pimiento". filipino-food-recipes.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  7. ^ TaGa_Luto (25 April 2010). "Inato lang Filipino Cuisine and More". bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 14 April 2015.