three biquinho peppers on a marble counter

Pimenta Biquinho (Little Beak Peppers)

Pimenta biquinho, or simply “biquinho peppers,” are great for adding sweet and tangy flavor to your cooking. 

These small teardrop-shaped peppers are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from pickled condiments to stuffed appetizers. Read on to learn everything you need to know about pimenta biquinho peppers, from their flavor and heat level to tips for growing and cooking with them. 

Facts about
Pimenta Biquinho

Heat level:
Mild
SHU:
500 - 1000
Classification:
Capsicum chinense
Origin:
South America
Flavor:
Fruity
Smoky
Sweet

What are pimenta biquinho peppers?

Pimenta biquinho peppers, also known as “little beak peppers,” are small, round, and mildly spicy peppers that originated in Brazil. They are typically about the size of a cherry tomato and have a unique sweet and tangy flavor. They belong to the Capsicum chinense classification along with other peppers like aji dulce, datil, and scotch bonnet.

a small biquinho pepper in front of a blurred-out dish of them in the background

These peppers are popular in Brazilian cuisine, either pickled, roasted, or sautéed. However, they are also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world due to their versatility and mild heat level.

What I love about biquinho peppers

These were one of my favorite peppers to grow in 2023. Aside from the fact that they are the cutest peppers on the face of the earth, the plant was extremely compact (roughly 12″ tall) but also very prolific.

The peppers were also delightful to eat. They are very mild, but they TASTE like spicy pepper (if that makes any sense). So you bite into one, and you expect the heat to grow, but it never does. If you’re sensitive to spice but like the idea of spicy food, this pepper is for you.

Cultural information

Pimenta biquinho peppers have a long history in Brazilian cuisine and are believed to have originated in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. They are often used in traditional dishes such as feijoada, a hearty stew made with black beans and various types of meat.

In addition to their use in traditional Brazilian cuisine, these peppers have become popular worldwide, particularly in Europe and North America. They are often used in salads, sandwiches, and pizzas and are prized for their unique flavor and mild heat level.

How to pronounce “biquinho”

The phonetic pronunciation of “biquinho” in Portuguese is “bee-KEE-nyoo”.

Other names for biquinho peppers

Pimenta biquinho peppers are also known by several other names, depending on the region and language. In Brazil and Peru, they are sometimes referred to as “Chupetinho.” 

In other parts of the world, they may be called “little beak peppers,” “Brazilian cherry peppers,” “sweety drops,” or “teardrop peppers” due to their small size and unique shape. Regardless of the name, pimenta biquinho peppers are prized for their sweet and tangy flavor and mild heat level and are a popular ingredient in many different types of cuisine. Chupetinho is another local word used for these peppers throughout Brazil and Peru.

How hot are they?

Pimenta biquinho peppers are mild chili peppers with a Scoville heat rating of only 500 to 1,000. They are slightly spicier than a bell pepper, and most people consider them relatively mild. However, it’s important to note that individual tolerance to spiciness can vary, so some people may find them slightly more or less spicy than others.

Red vs. yellow biquinho peppers

There is no significant difference between red and yellow pimenta biquinho peppers regarding flavor and heat level. Both varieties have a similar heat level and mildly sweet taste.

What do they taste like?

Pimenta biquinho peppers have a unique, sweet, fruity, and smoky flavor with a subtle hint of spiciness. Most people consider them mild in heat, depending on individual tolerance. 

The sweetness of the peppers is often compared to that of a cherry tomato, and they have a pleasant crunch when eaten raw. When cooked, pimenta biquinho peppers deepen in flavor, retaining their sweet fruitiness.

Overall, these peppers are a versatile ingredient that can add a burst of flavor to many dishes.

Most common culinary uses

Pimenta biquinho peppers are a versatile ingredient that can add a unique and delicious flavor to many dishes. They are commonly pickled in vinegar and used as a condiment or topping for sandwiches, burgers, and other dishes. 

Roasting pimenta biquinho peppers brings out their natural sweetness and enhances their flavor, making them a great side dish, appetizer, or topping. Sautéing them with onions and other vegetables creates a flavorful and colorful side dish. 

You can also stuff these peppers with cheese, meat, or other fillings and bake or grill them for a delicious snack. Lastly, chopped pimenta biquinho peppers add great crunch and brightness to salads and other dishes.

Where to buy biquinho peppers

You probably won’t find pimenta biquinho peppers at your local Kroger, but you may have better luck at specialty markets that carry Latin American or Brazilian ingredients. They may also be available at farmers’ markets or online through specialty food retailers.

If you have trouble finding these peppers in local stores, consider growing them yourself. Pimenta biquinho pepper plants are relatively easy to grow and can be grown in containers or a garden if you live in a warm and sunny climate. 

Tips for growing pimenta biquinho peppers

Growing pimenta biquinho peppers can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Consider using grow lights and a heat mat to ensure they have enough light and heat. Transplant the seedlings 1-2 weeks after your local last frost date, handling them carefully to avoid damaging the roots.  

Harvest the peppers when they are either red or yellow, and enjoy!