Banana peppers, also referred to as yellow wax peppers or Ooty chiles, are a mild chili popularly pickled and preserved. They are picked when they are bright yellow, and then they mature to be red or orange, and grow to be around 2-3 inches long. They get their name because their shape and color resemble a banana.
Banana peppers are significantly less spicy than jalapeños and most people don’t consider them to be spicy at all.
Banana peppers vs. pepperoncini
Note: banana peppers are not the same as pepperoncini peppers, which are another mild pepper that is commonly pickled and jarred. They are comparable in spiciness level, but banana peppers tend to be firmer and sweeter than pepperoncinis.
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Banana peppers have a pleasant tangy, slightly sweet flavor. When they are pickled they become very sour but still maintain a light sweetness.
Banana peppers can be eaten either fresh or pickled. They’re a popular pizza, sandwich, and salad topping, and can also be added to salsas.
Products that use banana peppers
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Hot sauces with banana peppers
Because banana peppers aren’t spicy, they are rarely used in hot sauces. However, there are a few that use hotter varieties of a similar pepper, or that use banana peppers as a flavoring agent.
Pickled banana peppers
Pickled banana peppers are easy to find at almost any local grocery store. You’ll usually find them near the pickles, which are often in the same aisle as condiments. You can also buy them on Amazon and other online grocers.
Seeds to grow at home
Banana peppers are an easy, low-maintenance pepper to grow at home during the summer.