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Piquillos: More Than a Pricey Roasted Red Pepper

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2016

Are piquillos, a pepper common in Spanish cuisine, worth the extra money over jarred roasted red peppers?

On the shelf near jarred roasted red peppers in some supermarkets, you’ll see bright red, comparatively expensive (about 20 percent more) piquillos, a pepper common in Spanish cuisine. Are they worth the extra money?

Piquillos have thinner flesh, with a complex, slightly bitter flavor underlying their sweetness; roasted red peppers tasted fruitier in comparison. We didn’t find the piquillos spicy at all, as some sources claim. They are also smaller, making them perfect for a stuffed tapas-style appetizer. But when we used both peppers in a filling for grilled meat and in a pureed sauce for chicken, they were indistinguishable.

Our advice? For recipes that call for chopped piquillos, go ahead and swap in the more-affordable, easier-to-find roasted red peppers. Save the pricey piquillos for making authentic tapas.