Peppers are often characterized by their heat which is due to a compound known as capsacin.
Capsacin in peppers causes the burning sensation felt on mucous membrane when foods containing peppers are ingested.
However, there are some varieties peppers that are known to be less pungent compared to others.
Some of these less pungent peppers are known as sweet peppers, and they are considered to be more flavorful than peppery.
Bell pepper is a popular example of these sweet peppers, and it is widely used in preparing different foods.
Another popular variety of these less pungent peppers is pimiento pepper, and because of their lack of pungency, pimiento peppers are often confused with bell peppers.
However, pimiento pepper is not the same as bell pepper but a different variety of pepper, and apart from its lack of pungency, pimiento pepper has some characteristics that are different from bell pepper.
Here are a few characteristics used to differentiate both varieties of pepper.
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Scoville heat units
Each variety of pepper could be characterized by its heat.
The scoville heat scale is a measure used to indicate how hot peppers are relative to each other.
Different varieties of peppers are designated scoville heat units depending on how pungent they may be.
The varieties of peppers with more heat can be found on the upper end of this scale while the less pungent ones have lower scoville heat units
Bell peppers and pimiento peppers are low heat pepper with a slight difference in their heat.
Bell peppers do not produce capsacin, the compounds responsible for the heat in other varieties of pepper.
They have zero scoville heat units, and are the lowest in the scoville heat scale
Pimiento peppers have slightly more heat compared to bell peppers as they only produce small amounts of the compound capsacin.
These peppers are therefore are only mildly hot. They have a scoville heat unit between 100 to 500 units.
The pimiento and bell peppers have a few distinguishing features in their appearance that could help you tell them both apart.
Bell peppers have different colors
Bell peppers have different varieties with different colours, they coud be red, green, yellow orange there are also white and purple varieties
Pimiento peppers are usually red when fully ripe
They have different shapes
Bell peppers are more square shaped and longer, they could be about 4 to 5 inches in length.
Pimiento peppers which are also known as cherry peppers or pimentos are heart shaped and thick walled.
Pimiento peppers could be 3 to 4 inches long.
Bell peppers and pimento peppers are very popular peppers, and they have many culinary applications.
These sweet peppers are used in a different foods for their sweetness.
Red bell peppers can be used in the production of sweet peppers, the other bell peppers are used like vegetables in foods like salads and sauces.
Pimiento peppers could be used fresh or found in processed foods.
These peppers could be used to make sweet paprika where can also be combined with other spices to produce spice blends.
Pimiento peppers are used to make foods such as pimento cheese or sauces.
They are also used as a stuffing for olives.
While most peppers are known for their heat, and are used to add a spicy flavor when making different types of food
The flavors of some varieties of peppers popularly known as sweet pepper are more fruity than spicy.
These peppers are used to add their sweet flavors to the recipes they are used with.
Bell peppers and pimento peppers are among the notable examples of sweet peppers, and apart from being used to flavor food, both peppers are also rich in vitamin A and C.