From Peter Piper to Piri-Piri: Pickled Peppers

A Pint of Pickled Peppers

This much is common knowledge: a pickled pepper is a pepper that has been preserved by pickling. Well, duh. And, since childhood, you’ve known that Peter Piper** picked a bunch (a peck!) of pickled peppers.

Why pickle peppers? Chiefly, to preserve them, right? AllSpicer Chris remembered that October is also pickled peppers month, and he (and I) have a glut of excess homegrown peppers we can’t eat quickly enough. We also pickle vegetables (and fruits and even shellfish and other unlikely ingredients) because they are delicious.

How do we pickle peppers? Basic Pickling is simple: you submerge peppers (whole or sliced) in brine of vinegar and salted water seasoned with herbs and spices. The choice of herbs and spices (and even which vinegars and salts) is up to you, but might include whole peppercorns and coriander, dill, and bay leaf.

You can make your own blend of pickling spices, or take the shortcut and get a bag of AllSpice Pickling Spice Blend ($3.15 for a 1/2 Cup bag).

You have choices. For a smaller batch of pickled peppers, a quick-pickled pepper recipe like this will give you a supply that will stay fresh in the fridge for up to another month .

If you have lots of peppers (let’s say, perhaps, a whole peck* of peppers to pickle), you might want to actually can them so that the pickled peppers can be stored, without refrigeration, in your pantry.

And if you have a few really hot peppers, and want to make pickled peppers to use tonight, try a batch of Piri-Piri Sauce, a Portugese pickled staple that turns African Bird’s Eye Peppers (or the hottest chile pepper you have on hand) into a fiery marinade and table condiment.

After you choose which sort of pickled pepper to make, remember, as you make your pickles, safety first!