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Pickled Sweety Drops

These unusual, thumbnail-sized Peruvian Biquinho sweet peppers are absolutely delightful when pickled. Perfect in salads, on sub sandwiches, on pizzas or charcuterie boards, Pickled Sweety Drop Peppers 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

And now I grow these delightful peppers every year — I bought the seeds for both the red and yellow varieties from Johnny’s seeds.

Learn how to grow biquinho peppers on my gardening blog, SproutedGarden.com

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.

What do the plants look like? For the curious, as I hinted above when I wrote this post in ’19, I grew lots of Biquinho peppers plants during the 2020 growing season. They have beautiful foliage, and the colorful peppers make them look like they’re decorated with lights:

Biquinho Pepper Plant - Yellow variety

This is the yellow variety, but I also grew the red. They’re prolific producers, and the peppers are highly enjoyable to crunch on while working in the garden.

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 Drop Peppers will, too.

Karen xo

Two jars of pickled sweety drops
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

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 pepper recipe, 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




Hannah

Monday 2nd of August 2021

Could these peppers last not in the refrigerator? Thinking of bringing a small jar backpacking to add some flavor!

SoupAddict

Monday 2nd of August 2021

I’m not a food safety expert, but I think that, like pickles, they would be okay for a few hours unrefrigerated. But for storage purposes, they definitely need to be kept in the fridge.

Amanda

Saturday 31st of July 2021

Once these have reached ten day marination, how long do they usually keep for in the fridge? Super excited to make these today. I've enjoyed them on charcuterie boards so many times and grew several biquenho plants this year and didn't realize at first that they are the same thing. Spent the evening and late into the night last night doing pepper jellies with cherry bombs and serranos, and some spicy pickles. Today I'll be doing your sweety drops and maybe some sweet heat beets if I'm feeling extra energetic.

SoupAddict

Saturday 31st of July 2021

I'm afraid to say specifically how long they'll last because I don't have an official food safety evaluation for it. But, I view it the same as an opened jar of pickles that sits in the fridge. I can't wait until I have enough that are ripe to make new batches - I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Ruben

Thursday 31st of December 2020

I’m working on the recipe and wondering about the plant, is a perennial or seasonal? Sorry, is my first time, I planted the seeds a few months back and I thought they were dying but 4 of them started to grow and I have lots of peppers now

SoupAddict

Thursday 31st of December 2020

Depending on the climate where you live, it's most likely to be an annual. But, if you still have warm weather (or can bring the plants inside), most peppers will continue to flower and produce fruit until the cold overtakes them. I had the same thing happen, btw -- the plants kind of stalled in an alarming way, and then suddenly took off.

Ashley

Monday 28th of September 2020

I found a bin of these peppers at the farmers market a few weekends ago, and bought a bunch because they were so cute (I know, right?). I found your recipe and went for it. And snuck a taste after just a few days. They are so good and just keep getting better. In lieu of cookouts, we've been having cheeseboard Saturday nights, and they've been so tasty with the smoked meats and cheeses. One of my favorite finds this summer, I think!

Melinda

Sunday 27th of September 2020

These were perfect. Friends rated them better than the store bought! I did can them in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes for long term storage.