Pepperoncini vs. Banana Pepper: What Is The Difference?

Every day is a new experience and a new chance. Every day we see something new, and we learn something. So you never know what you will find out at the next corner.

In my experience, fascinating details come from the little things that we pass by every day. I want to share with you the great facts I found out about veggies that we all use often.

As you all know cooking is my passion, so my preparations happen at the local grocery store.

I love walking on the part of the store where they store veggies and fruits. I don’t know why, I guess the colors hypnotize me and make my imagination start combining them in various ways.

My children insisted on making something spicy, so what else would I take than pepper?

At that moment I couldn’t decide between pepperoncini and banana pepper, and it came to me – What is the difference between pepperoncini and banana pepper?

While I thought a kind lady that worked in the store asked me if she can help. So I shared with her the question that was bugging me.

She looked at me and smiled. She said that I asked a complicated question.

She stated that they are practically the same, that even some professionals who produce them sometimes have trouble telling them apart.

Since I could not leave it at that, it was time for me to do some serious work. I had to find out what is the difference between pepperoncini and banana pepper! I can’t wait to share with you the interesting facts and details that I found out.

The Ancient Roots

Peperoncino or plural peperoncini can also be spelled pepperoncino and pepperoncini, so all these names refer to the same species.

Columbus’ discovery of America or then known as the New World in 1492 meant a lot. Besides the new culture, new people, new fruits, and veggies were discovered. Some of the veggies were pepperoncino, which came to Italy at the beginning of the 16th century.

Can you believe that at first, people thought that pepperoncini were possibly poisonous?

So in the beginning, they only used it as a decorative veggie. Also, it was used by the lower class, because it was cheap and convenient.

That's why it was not in any cookbooks before 1694.The cookbooks were made for the rich people.

The first time it was used in a cookbook it was in a recipe for Salsa. The Salsa was made out of chopped pepperoncini, slices of tomatoes, onion and all that was mixed with peppermint, oil, and salt.

Banana peppers are not the only name that refers to this sort of pepper, a member of the chili pepper family. There are two more names – yellow wax pepper and banana chill.

The chili pepper family originated from America, but banana pepper did not stay only on this territory; it made its way trough, and it is now used all over the world. It is a persuasion of Capsicum annum species.

See Also: How To Thicken Chili: 5 Quick & Easy Ways

The Introduction Of Pepperoncini

When it comes to size, pepperoncini grow up to 2 to 3 inches, so they are medium size.

Peppers are usually colored differently, and their color varies from green to yellow to red, so pepperoncini is not an exception. It usually starts from green, really light green and then ripens to a red color. But the majority od pepperoncini is green.

You can find pepperoncini almost everywhere.

But if you like gardening and eat peppers in huge amounts you should give growing pepperoncini by yourself a try.

You can find pepperoncini seeds in the local garden shop or online, and they are not too expensive. And taking care and harvesting pepperoncini is not so hard. You only have to water them once a week, and their maturation takes 70 days.

The Benefits Of Eating Pepperoncini

First of all, pepperoncini contain vitamin C, and this vitamin is essential for our immune system. This vitamin protects us from getting cold, and it can also prevent cell damage.

But there is one thing that you have to know: cooking will destroy the Vitamin C in the pepperoncini, so if you want the highest level of vitamin C, you should eat pepperoncini uncooked or should I say raw.

It is also filled with vitamin A, and as we were told as kids this vitamin is good for our eyesight. This helpful vitamin makes our night vision better, and it makes a good impact on the health of our teeth and skin.

I also found out that this vitamin can reduce the risk of our children getting measles and diarrhea. So, I give pepperoncino to my kids as much as I can.

Pepperoncini is not only filled with vitamins – it is also filled with iron. That is a mineral that we need each day. It helps our cells to grow and delivers oxygen through our whole body. If we do not have iron in our bodies, we are in danger to get infections.

A single pepperoncino also contains 1g of fiber. Fiber can help you with making your immune system stronger and resistant to some serious conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

Now it is time to learn something about banana pepper!

The Veggie That Looks Like A Banana

The look of the banana pepper is not so hard to explain.

A mature pepper will be around 2 to 3 inches long, and it is usually curve-shaped.

The color is usually yellow. This was the part when I realized where the name comes from – it looks like a banana!

Just like pepperoncini, you can find it and buy it almost everywhere.

But if you like gardening you can grow it yourself. You can grow plants from seed or cuttings. They can grow in almost every climate, but they do prefer warmer weather.

Why Is Banana Pepper Good For You

Just like pepperoncini, banana pepper contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and iron. But there are some vitamins that I also have to mention because they are really good for you.

Banana pepper has many varieties od Vitamin B, and they are all important in releasing energy from carbohydrates.

It also has magnesium that we need in our growing process. And magnesium is essential for pregnant women. This pepper is also filled with calcium, and our bones need calcium.

So far, this makes things more clear.

The Differences Between Pepperoncini And Banana Pepper

Now it is time to sum up everything that we learned so far and add something new.

Even tough they come from the same family, and some people find it hard to tell them apart, there are some differences.

When you say pepper, the first thing that comes to my mind is hot. So there are some differences in the heat of these two peppers.

For measuring the heat of the pepper, we use the Scoville scale. The pepperoncini are between 100 and 500 SHU, banana pepper is ranged between 0 to 500 SHU.

They both have the same size, usually, from 2 to 3 inches and the colors are pretty much the same. And their nutrition value is almost the same because they have same roots. So how do we tell them apart?

Firstly their skin has some similarities, but there are visual differences. While the banana pepper tends to be smooth, it is baby-faced as some people say. Pepperoncini tend to have bends and are more wrinkly.

Their shape will also help you see which one is pepperoncini and which one is banana pepper. Banana peppers are shaped more like a banana – they are pointier, while pepperoncini have bulbous ends.

And now we came to the part of using banana pepper and pepperoncini in the kitchen.

In most cases, pepper is sliced into circles and put on a pizza or utilized in a salad.

But there is one big difference between these two that is important in cooking. Banana peppers have thicker walls so they can be stuffed with a variety of things, while pepperoncini have thin skin so they can’t be stuffed.

But both peppers can be eaten raw.

Whether you put pepperoncini or banana pepper on your plate, you will not regret it.

There aren't many differences between these two, except skin details, but in the end, they are both healthy and carry almost the same nutritional values.

Now, I think I am going to make a salad with pepper.

After I learned that it was so good for me, I don't think one day will pass without me eating it.

Until next time!

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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