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Pimento or Pimiento

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A small, heart-shaped, sweet chile pepper, which may be mild or spicy hot in flavor and somewhat bitter tasting. Red to yellow in color, the flesh of a typical Pimento provides a sweeter flavor with a more noticable aroma than a similar pepper known as the bell pepper. Also referred to as a cherry pepper or sweet chile, Pimentos grow to only 1 to 3 inches in length. When harvested they are dried to be ground into paprika or simply cut fresh and processed into small pieces for use in stuffings and food seasonings. Green olives are one of the most commonly available foods that have been stuffed with Pimentos. The outer skin of the Pimento is smooth but tough in texture and must be removed prior to processing as a food. When packed in jars, the Pimentos are boiled so the skins can be removed and then preserved in a brine consisting of citric acid and vinegar. Pimentos are available fresh, canned or bottled for use in adding to foods as a colorful garnish or as a flavor enhancer. Although the Pimento will provide a salty or somewhat bitter flavor, they can be readily substituted for roasted red peppers in a variety of recipes.

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