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Peperoncino Substitutes

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
There's a steamed calamari recipe I want to try and one of the seasoning ingredients is peperoncino, the Italian chile peppers, sprinkled on the calamari after it's cooked and just prior to serving. If I can't find them here, what would be a good substitute?

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not looking to substitute for the pickled or jarred peppers, but for the plain chile peppers.
post #2 of 13
Shel!
Ask your local pizzaria they usually use them on pizza or on antipasto platters, and some salads.
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post #3 of 13
A mild pickled pepper of most any sort wouldn't be out of place, the main issue is one of if they're not hot enough for your taste.

Jarred banana peppers are commonly available. In the US they're bigger than the classic pepperoncino, but I think they have the same taste and texture. Wikipedia redirects you to pepperoncini if you search banana pepper.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I guess I wasn't clear - my fault. Pickled, or jarred, pepper is not what's needed in the dish - just the regular, plain chile pepper. I've never had a plain peperoncino, so I don't know the flavor profile and what might be a good substitute.
post #5 of 13
That's a little trickier, true and i don't think it is completely standardized usage.

Lidia Bastianich always calls red pepper flakes/crushed red pepper pepperoncino as she tosses them into a dish. Which I would think is hotter than what you're looking for and also not fresh.

Wikipedia again lists a sweet italian pepper with a cultivar as called pepperoncino. It has the long narrow appearance of a hot pepper but isn't so hot. Italian sweet pepper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Good luck.

Phil
post #6 of 13
Shel -

if you search for a definition / translation of: peperoncino
you'll likely find, as I did, it means something like: "hot pepper"

green, red, long , thin, fat, hot, mild - it ain't no "standardized pepper"

so methinks you use something you know about / like to add some zing to the dish.

my wife bought a banana pepper plant this year because she thought they looked "cute" - well, the plant did gangbusters and in addition to "cute" it is also right tasty without burning off the roof of your mouth. I'd start with a fresh banana pepper from the market and see if that works for your desired degree of "heat pain"
post #7 of 13
I'm sure one of the other members will be along in a bit to straighten us out. But I believe peperoncino may just be a catch all for many peppers of varying taste and heat.

peperoncino link

good luck,
dan
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
You've all been quite helpful. Based on the info you've posted, I've got some good ideas for the peppers to use, both fresh and dried.

It's pepper season now, and the farmers' markets are filled with numerous varieties of peppers. I'm sure that some will work well with this dish.

Thanks,
post #9 of 13
I don't know about Wikipedia and them, but there are at least two specific varieties called pepperoncini. One of which is used to make the pickled pepper found in jars, pizza parlors, etc.

Pepperoncini is a relatively mild chili that grows celery colored until ripening, at which point it turns red.

As a substitute for the fresh chili I would consider Pasilla, as it has about the same amount of heat. Pasilla is a much larger pod. But I presume you'll be chopping it up anyway, so that shouldn't matter.

I can't recall ever seeing a recipe for fresh pepperoncini, and would be interested in the one you have for squid.

I have a recipe for squid that is served with a pepperoncini mayonaise. But that used the pickled peppers.
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
<LOL> Not really looking for pain, but a nice flavor profile that will compliment the calamari. Exploring, and learning about, some of the less intense peppers, and lesser known (to me at least) peppers, has become a nice, fun project.

Right now I'm leaning towards the aleppo as being a good choice. It's from the same very general area, has a flavor profile that might work, and isn't too hot.
post #11 of 13
Calabrian peppers have plenty of zing. The closest you're going to get in terms of flavor profile are probably Red Fresnos, New Mexicos, Poblanos, Anaheims, Jalapenos, Serranos, and Thai Birds. In terms of "from the same very general area," they all came from America a few hundred years ago.

Whatever pepper you use from my list you want to get something with as much color (other than green) as possible -- Italians like their peppers ripe.

IMO Dill's suggestion about the banana pepper is really interesting. I've never had banana pepper with shellfish, but it sure sounds great to my "virtual palate." They've got a real nice, sour frutiness to them. Kind of citrus -- which should really bring out the squid. If you like banana peppers with a pair of uvos, wax peppers are another possiblity.

I've geared all my suggestions toward fruit and away from grassiness and as much as possible away from blackor white pepper notes. That's what I don't like about Aleppo and szichuan -- too much pepper in the pepper.

BDL
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'd not use green peppers for this dish. The closer to red the better, imo - and your's as well :smiles:

I'm having a tough time "tasting" either of those peppers in this dish ... never cared much for wax peppers in any case. Maybe it's time to revisit them.

Hmm, I've gotten fruit with the aleppo I've tasted. Different palates, I suppose. Likewise, I don't taste the szechuans the way you describe, at least not with heavy piper nigrum notes.
post #13 of 13
>Red Fresnos, New Mexicos, Poblanos, Anaheims, Jalapenos, Serranos, and Thai Birds.<

I would agree that the Fresnos are pretty close. New Mexicos certainly would work as well. But in my mouth the others are really different.

Poblanos---one of my favorite mild chilis---has a different taste profile, not fruity at all.

I haven't had enough Anaheims to form an opinion.

To me, if you take the heat from a jalapeno, all that's left is a sort of green taste; perhaps the grassiness you allude to. Plus there's the question: At what point does the heat, per se, change the dish to something else? If we're talking about SHUs measured in hundreds (New Mexicans, for instance, run 500 to 2,500 SHUs, with most of them grouping towards the lower end), and suddenly jump to a chile going 8-10,000, what does that mean in terms of flavor profile?

Serranos and Thai Birds are so much hotter than the others that, it seems to me, they would, by definition, change the flavor profile of the dish.

FWIW, the Pasilla I recommended is very fruity and very mild, only running from 1,000 to 1,500 SHUs. In practical terms, this is where the New Mexicans would fit, with the Fresnos---also a very fruity chili---coming in with even less heat.

BTW, anyone looking for a citrusy flavor, should explore the baccatum peppers. That's their distinguishing hallmark; the way chinense have a smoky, tropical fruit underflavor.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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