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What Does Pimento Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Chilies could be some of the most underrated ingredients people have in their kitchens.

It’s not uncommon for most dishes to contain some form of pepper or spice.

It’s an element that always boosts umami and gives life to food items.

While Asian countries don’t shy away from the heat in their curries, Western and European countries have a milder approach.

Bell peppers are the most wildly used chilies, followed by pimentos.

The pimentos are sweet chilies and the mildest in existence.

This spicy vegetable levels only a hundred to five hundred on the Scoville scale.

People incorporate this unique pepper into dishes for its beautiful aroma and sweetness.

Keep reading to find out what does pimento tastes like and how you might have already tried it.

What is Pimento?

Pimentos belong to the Capsicum annuum family.

They are heart-shaped chili peppers that can grow up to 4 inches in length and 3 inches in width.

Red, yellow, maroon, and green are some of the colors this vegetable exhibits once it’s mature.

Many people may know it by another name, ‘cherry pepper,’ and you may spell it as ‘pimiento.

‘ These are both referencing the same vegetable.

Since the chilly was widely popular amongst the Spanish and Portuguese, they adapted their own names for the veggie.

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Its name has been derived from the Latin word ‘pigmentum,’ meaning ‘pigment’.

However, these days the word pimento is used to describe a variety of peppers, including black pepper.

This plant is part of the edible nightshade family, which includes eggplants, tomatoes, etc.

The pimento thrives in hot conditions and is grown mainly in California in the US.

They have been used over the centuries in Europe for cooking a variety of food items, including cheese and stuffed olives.

What Does Pimento Taste Like?

Most would think about pimento as having a kick when eaten.

Chilies are usually associated with hot, sharp, intense flavors.

However, pimento is actually sweet to taste.

They have the usual smoky and aromatic fruitiness that all peppers possess, but it’s more intense since they don’t have the bite that’s common for chilies.

Most people enjoy eating them raw since they can add a smoky dimension to dishes without the heat.

You may have already tried this vegetable without knowing it.

They are a vital ingredient of paprika, a common household spice.

Although many other chilies go into formulating the red powder, pimentos take center stage thanks to their pleasant taste and aroma.

There is another common ingredient in your pantry that contains this delicious fruit.

Stuffed olives are a typical garnish element in many salads and cocktails.

The red core within the olives is actually chopped pimentos.

So, you’ve most likely tasted this excellent product without even realizing it.

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It’s a staple in many homes in Spain because of how well its flavors can blend with other ingredients and give a mild warmth to dishes without overpowering them.

If you want to get the most use out of your pimento plant, you can even dry them to increase their flavor.

The pungency and smoky notes increase two-fold once sundried, but there’s no excessive hotness to offset your tastebuds.

How to Cook Pimento?

Have you ever used Cajun seasoning? Do you have a bottle of paprika sitting in your spice cabinet? If the answer is a yes.

You’ve already used this ingredient in your cooking in some way or the other.

However, if you’ve got some fresh pimentos and are wondering what to do with them, the answer is lots.

You can swap out bell peppers in your recipes for pimentos.

That’s not all; you can make a classic pimento cheese spread, a southern specialty.

The dip is made with pimentos, mayonnaise, and shredded cheddar.

And is often referred to as ‘the caviar of the east’. The dish can be enjoyed with crackers, bread, carrot, and celery sticks.

For those who enjoy having tiki cocktails, the pimiento liqueur or allspice dram is the main ingredient in this fabulous concoction.

But, procuring this alcohol might be problematic since it’s unavailable in most liquor stores.


This charming fruit has many uses in the kitchen, like adding them to pickles, sauces, sausages, spice mixes, spreads, curry pastes, etc.

It’s a versatile ingredient that can even be incorporated into baked goods like pies and cakes.

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You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the refreshing sweetness that hits your taste buds.

It can also be a peculiar experience since it’s a unique flavor profile for a pepper.

The pimento is an exquisite vegetable that should be on your grocery list.

The cherry pepper’s mild heat and potent sweetness will engulf your senses as soon as you taste it.

It’s one ingredient you must try the next time you get your hands on them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What flavor does pimentos add?

Pimentos add a sweet, mild flavor to dishes that can be described as a combination of bell pepper and red chili. It has a slightly smoky taste with a hint of sweetness.

Pimento is commonly used in sandwiches, salads, dips, salsa and sauces for added flavor. It also makes a great garnish for pastas, seafood dishes, and even desserts.

It pairs particularly well with cream-based sauces, making it ideal for use in creamy dips or soups.

Are pimentos sour?

No, pimentos are not sour. The flavor of pimento is sweet and mild with a hint of smokiness.

It is often described as a combination between bell pepper and red chili in terms of taste.

Pimentos do have a slightly tangy aftertaste due to the acidity but it is not overpowering.

When should pimentos be used in cooking?

Pimentos can be used in a variety of dishes for added flavor and color. It pairs well with cream-based sauces, making it great for creamy dips or soups.

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Pimento is also commonly used in sandwiches, salads, dips, salsa and sauces. Additionally, it makes a great garnish for pastas, seafood dishes, and even desserts.

Pimentos add a subtle sweetness that pairs well with many other ingredients, making it an ideal ingredient to incorporate into a wide range of recipes.

How do you eat pimento?

There are many ways to eat pimentos. It can be eaten raw, added to salads or sandwiches for a burst of flavor and crunchiness.

Pimento is also commonly used in dips and sauces as it adds a mild sweetness that pairs well with most ingredients.

Additionally, it is an excellent garnish for dishes such as pastas, seafood dishes, and even desserts. Pimentos can also be cooked or roasted to bring out a smokier flavor.

Is pimento the same as paprika?

No, pimento and paprika are not the same. While both ingredients have a red color, they have different flavors and uses.

Pimentos are sweeter and milder in flavor while paprika has more of a spicy kick. Paprika is also slightly smokier in taste compared to pimentos. The two ingredients are also used differently in cooking.

Paprika is usually used as a powder, rub or seasoning while pimentos are usually eaten raw and can be added to sandwiches, salads, dips and sauces for flavor.

Yield: 4 Servings

What Does Pimento Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

What Does Pimento Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


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