By Chelsea Hall

Peppadew peppers have made quite a splash in the food industry lately, appearing in recipes for sandwiches, salads, spreads and dips. Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri features Peppadews in his aioli, potato salad and relish recipes. The Peppadew is relatively new to the food scene, and many people have yet to taste them. It has consumers wondering what a Peppadew is, what it tastes like and how to substitute for it in recipes.

Peppers can be eaten raw, stuffed, or sauteed as the base for soup.


A Peppadew is a variety of small piquante pepper found in South Africa. The name Peppadew is trademarked by the company of the same name, and is the brand name for their particular pepper and brining combination. The Peppadew doesn't have much flavor in its raw state, but jarred in a sweet and sour liquid, it becomes a sweet, hot, tangy pepper. Peppadews have a complex flavor and add incredible flavor to a variety of dishes. Specialty grocery stores and online stores sell the peppers.

Cherry Pepper

Strips of sweet cherry peppers are used to stuff green olives.

Cherry peppers are the best substitute for Peppadews. Slightly larger than a Peppadew, they are typically sold as pickled peppers and come in sweet, mild and hot varieties. The sweet variety of pickled cherry pepper is the most similar to a Peppadew, and is delicious when stuffed with feta cheese or sliced in a salad.

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted peppers are made by first charring the skin.

Roasted red peppers are readily available in most grocery stores, and cooks commonly use them in Italian antipasto platters and salads. Though they are not spicy, they mimic the sweetness found in Peppadews and will add a bright red color. If you wish to use roasted red peppers in lieu of Peppadews, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce or a pinch of dried red pepper flakes to mimic the Peppadew's spiciness.

Red Bell Pepper

If you cannot locate Peppadew peppers, cherry peppers or roasted red peppers, and still wish to make a certain recipe, you can always substitute red bell peppers. With their juicy crunch and innate sweetness, they will do as a substitute in a pinch. Before adding them to the recipe, saute strips of red bell pepper in a bit of olive oil and sugar. This will soften the pepper slightly as well as amplify its sweetness. To add heat, simply toss in a few dried red pepper flakes.