Banana peppers are slender and elongated, averaging 5 to 12 centimeters in length, and have a signature curved and conical shape with tapered, pointed ends. The skin is waxy, smooth, and ripens from yellow to orange or red when fully mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thick and crisp, encasing a central cavity filled with many small, round cream-colored seeds. Banana chili peppers are mild with little heat and have a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that is enhanced maturity.
Banana chili peppers are best in the summer but available year-round.
Banana chili peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as frying, baking, and roasting. When used fresh, Banana chili peppers can be chopped and used as a garnish on salads, hot dogs, pizzas, and sandwiches or blended into salsa. The peppers can also be pickled and served on cheese boards or used as a topping on cooked meats. In addition to fresh and pickled preparations, Banana chili peppers are popularly stuffed and fried, cooked into pepper jelly, or roasted with other vegetables and meats. The sweet peppers can even be used to top ice cream. Banana chili peppers pair well with cured meats, Italian sausage, fried chicken, roasted ham, bacon, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, olives, cabbage, shallots, spinach, arugula, Romano cheese, rice, and quinoa. The peppers will keep 2-3 weeks when stored whole, unwashed, and loosely placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.