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Pickled Sweety Drops

These unusual, thumbnail-sized Peruvian sweet peppers are absolutely delightful when pickled. Perfect in salads, on sub sandwiches, on pizzas or charcuterie boards, Pickled Sweety Drops are easy-to-make refrigerator pickles that will last all winter long.

Three jars of pickled sweety drops, photographed from above

First off, special PSA: people of Cincinnati, if it’s still September ’19 when you’re reading this, set aside some time on a Saturday morning so that you can pop out to the Anderson Farmers’ Market to pick up these completely unique peppers. Look for Cassandra Farms, and tell him the blonde, Biquinho (bee-keen-yo) pepper lady sent you. 😉

You might even run into me there, because I have to stock up this weekend. (Don’t worry, I won’t take them all!)

A scattering of red and yellow Biquinho peppers (Peruvian Sweety Drops) on a wooden plate.

What are Sweety Drops?

These unique specimens are tear-drop-shaped peppers with a pointy end, and taste like extra flavorful sweet bell peppers. A native Peruvian cultivar, they’re also known as Biquinho peppers, Inca Reds, and chupetinho (literally, “little beak”). You eat the whole pepper, seeds and all.

I first learned about these Sweety Drop Peppers at an olive bar in a local (but sadly now defunct) grocery store. They were unnamed in the display, and I spent almost two years being completely obsessed with finding them, trying to figure out the right thing to search for on Google, with no success. (Who knew there were so many small peppers in the world!)

Finally, the food gods showed mercy on me, and I stumbled on a jar at Whole Foods one day. At last — I had a name! Except for Cassandra Farms, I’ve been unsuccessful at finding a retail source for the fresh peppers, but you can buy a jar of them already lightly pickled from Amazon.

Seasoning options for Pickled Sweety Drops

I’m sooo growing these next year — I already have the seeds for both the red and yellow varieties (from Johnny’s seeds).

But this year, I’m enjoying the bounty from Cassandra Farms, and pickling most of them for the winter. Of all the wonderful produce I’ve sample this summer, I’m most excited about these peppers.

Pickled Sweet Drops, jarred and ready to store in the fridge

If you love pickled things, I dare say you’ll thoroughly enjoy these little nuggets. They’re crunchy, sweet, with just the tiniest bit of heat, and small enough to toss in your mouth like popcorn. Sometimes, I just eat them straight out of the jar, lol.

And like most refrigerator pickles, there’s no rigamorale of water-bath canning. Heat the brine and pour them over the seasonings and peppers. Seal, cool, refrigerate. Done.

Quick preservation tip: Even though this recipe is for refrigeration, the heat from the brine will likely cause canning jars to self-seal. That doesn’t mean they’re shelf-stable, but, it should lengthen its lifespan in the fridge, unopened.

I use 1-cup Ball jars (which hold quite a bit, as you can see from the photos), which leaves more peppers sealed in other 1-cup jars, and hopefully lasting longer, instead of storing a whole batch in a quart jar, which gets opened immediately and exposed to environmental contaminants.

Toss them into salads, top a pizza, add them to sub sandwiches. And definitely don’t forget those holiday cheese boards! Anywhere a cucumber pickle works, these pickled Sweety Drops will, too.

Karen xo

Two jars of pickled sweety drops
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Pickled Sweety Drops

These tasty sweet peppers marinate in a lovely brine for a delicious pickled treat. This recipe is highly flexible and will accommodate more or fewer peppers, or different sized jars - just make sure you have enough brine to cover the peppers in the jars.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biquinho peppers, sweety drops
Servings: 12
Calories: 15kcal
Author: Karen Gibson

Ingredients

For the brine:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling salt

For the seasoning:

  • 6 green peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling or kosher salt (coarse, in both cases)
  • 6 green cilantro seeds (optional - you'd likely have to grown them)
  • 2 cups Biquinho peppers , stems removed, well-cleaned*

Instructions

  • Even though this is a recipe for refrigerated pickled peppers (not shelf-stable), you can increase the peppers' longevity by sterilizing the jars in which they'll be stored. Boil the jars, lids and rings prior to use.
  • In a small pot, bring the brine ingredients to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt have fully dissolved.
  • Divide the seasonings evenly between the jars, and spoon in the cleaned peppers. You can fill the jars as loosely or tightly as you want, since you're not producing a shelf-stable product.
  • Carefully pour the brine over the peppers, to cover. Wipe the rims and seal the jars to fingertip tightness. Check the lids again in 5 minutes -- they may need additional tightening.
  • Let the jars cool on the counter. If the jars were filled to the top, they'll likely self-seal. This is a good thing, but note that they're still not shelf-stable.
  • Place the cooled jars in the fridge for at least 10 days before serving, although you'll get a nice hint of the good things to come by day 5.

Notes

* For extra safety and longevity, briefly blanch the peppers in boiling water (just 5 seconds or so), drain, and transfer them to the jar(s) after adding the seasonings. A spider strainer comes in very handy for this.

Nutrition

Calories: 15kcal
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
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Recipe Rating




Peter Puckett

Saturday 1st of August 2020

This recipe doesn’t mention when to add the seasoning mix.

SoupAddict

Monday 10th of August 2020

Thanks, Peter - I've corrected the recipe!

Michael Katz

Tuesday 8th of October 2019

Great recipe, thanks! There aren't many pickled Binquinho pepper recipes online.

Btw, Cilantro and coriander are the same thing. Cilantro seeds are coriander seeds, cilantro is Spanish, coriander is British also used in India. But they aren't the exact same thing.

SoupAddict

Tuesday 8th of October 2019

In the U.S., cilantro refers to the fresh herb and its leafy greens, while coriander is the plant’s dried seeds. All are products from the same plant, in the similar way that “poblano” and “ancho” are different forms of the same pepper.

That exact naming convention is not used world-wide, as you point out, but I and the majority of my readers are located in the U.S., and therefore I use the names of these items as they’re labeled in stores here.