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Discover hand-cut chilies in pickled olive oil: the fiery peperoncini delicacy from Naples.

Peperoncini and chilli - a world of flavor and variety

Chili, a symbol of spiciness and passion, unfolds a fiery experience on the tongue. The spiciness, which ranges from a mild warmth to an almost burning intensity, is caused by capsaicinoids.

The taste varies depending on the variety and can have notes ranging from sweet paprika to earthy, almost chocolate-like nuances. When smelling, a strong, spicy bouquet unfolds, often with a slight fruity undertone.

Botanically speaking, chillies belong to the genus Capsicum, which is part of the nightshade family. These plants are known for their diverse fruit shapes and flavors. Growing chilies requires sunny locations and well-drained soil, with the plants showing a preference for warm climates.

Historically, chili reached Europe in the 16th century through the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who discovered it in South America. In Italy, especially in the southern region, it quickly became an integral part of the local cuisine. Peperoncino, as chili is called in Italy, found its way into numerous traditional dishes and was appreciated for its ability to add depth and heat to dishes.

There is an impressive variety of peperoncini in Italy, including the famous Peperoncino di Calabria and Peperoncino Rosso. The aroma of the Peperoncino Calabrese is characterized by a deep, slightly smoky note, which is often combined with hints of dried fruit and a subtle earthiness. This chilli variety offers a complex range of flavors, from an initial fruity sweetness to a long-lasting, pleasant heat.

Compared to the slightly smoky and deep aroma of Peperoncino Calabrese, Peperoncino Rosso offers a fresher and clearer taste profile. It lacks the smoky and earthy undertones and is often dominated by fruity and sometimes floral notes instead.

Use and application of chili in Italian cuisine

From the field to the pickled chili delicacy: Cultivation, harvesting and processing of peperoncini in Naples

The production of our hand-cut peperoncini, preserved in olive oil, begins with the careful selection of the chili variety. We use the Peperoncino Calabrese, which has an average Scoville rating of 30,000 and is therefore pleasantly hot. These chillies are grown in the fields near the factory, where the seedlings are planted from our own seeds in May. Every step, from transplanting to watering, is carried out by hand to ensure an organic and traceable cultivation model. This approach ensures the impeccable quality of our chillies, which are harvested in October when fully ripe and intensely red.

The proximity of the fields to the factory in Naples means that the chillies can be processed directly on the day of harvest. The freshly harvested peperoncini are carefully cleaned by hand and then cut individually and diagonally by hand with great precision. This method is time-consuming - at least one hour is needed per kilogram - but essential to obtain a product with few seeds. This traditional process preserves the full flavor of the chilli peppers without being masked by the intense heat of the seeds.

After cutting, the chillies are collected in a special pot with small holes and tossed to remove any more seeds. The producers then cover them with salt and leave them to rest for around 12 hours. This step removes the natural water from the chillies and also cleans them. This is followed by a short bath in vinegar to achieve the appropriate pH value and ensure preservation for up to 24 months, as this sustainable organic farm does not use any preservatives.

The prepared chillies are now placed in extra virgin olive oil and filled into sterile jars - this step is also carried out entirely by hand. The fruity olive oil combined with the peperoncino calabrese results in a perfect combination of fruity, spicy and velvety-soft. Finally, the jars are pasteurized to guarantee the quality and safety of the product and prevent unwanted bacteria and microorganisms.

Italienischer frischer Chili offen im Glas von Di Bennardo
Italienischer frischer Chili offen im Glas von Di Bennardo

Organic quality of Di Bennardo pickled peperoncini: responsible and sustainable

Quality control

The fiery aroma of the peperoncino calabrese, embedded in our extra virgin olive oil, unfolds a harmonious symphony of smoky depth, enriched with nuances of dried fruit and a subtle earthiness. The fruity sweetness of the peperoncino, which gradually develops into a pleasant, lingering spiciness, is complemented by the rich, fruity profile of the olive oil. The consistency of the chilli, delicate yet biting, harmonizes perfectly with the soft, smooth texture of the oil. Together, they create a taste experience that is rounded off by a light tomato note and a subtle bitterness.

When preserving and storing our pickled chilli peppers, it is important to keep them in a cool, dark place. The oil should always cover the chillies completely to protect them from air and bacteria. Opened jars should be kept in the fridge and used within a few weeks to ensure the freshness and quality of the product.


In many countries, particularly in the USA, "pepperoni" refers to a hot type of salami. In Italy and other parts of Europe, however, "pepperoni" refers to mild to medium-hot peppers.


This term refers to the mild, often large and fleshy pods of the Capsicum annuum plant. They come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow and green. Peppers are used both raw in salads and cooked in a variety of dishes. The term "paprika" also refers to the spice made from dried and ground peppers.


These are small, hot chili peppers that also belong to the Capsicum annuum family. They are popular in Italian cuisine and are often pickled or used as a spice. Peperoncini are generally milder than most "chilies".


This term generally refers to the fruits of plants from the Capsicum genus, which contain capsaicin, a chemical compound responsible for pungency. Chilies come in many different shapes, sizes and degrees of heat. They are used in various cuisines around the world and are a key element in spicy dishes

The hotness scale of chili peppers - an insight into the world of Scoville ratings and chili varieties

The health benefits and nutritional values of chili in the diet

Chilis, especially the Capsicum annuum species, to which many peperoncini belong, are not only known for their spiciness, but also for their health benefits. They contain vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which strengthen the immune system and have antioxidant properties. They are also rich in minerals such as potassium, which is important for heart health.

The main active ingredient in chillies, capsaicin, has several health-promoting properties. Studies show that capsaicin can stimulate the metabolism and contribute to weight loss. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain, especially joint pain.

There is also evidence that regular consumption of chilies can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The spiciness of chilies promotes blood circulation and can therefore support heart health. However, chilies should be consumed in moderation, especially by people with sensitive stomachs or known digestive problems.

Frequently asked questions about peperoncini and chili answered

Peperoncini are a mild to medium-hot variety of the chilli plant that is popular in Italian cuisine and is characterized by a fruity aroma and a pleasant heat.

Chili tastes hot to burning, depending on the variety and heat level, and has a characteristic, often fruity aroma that can vary from sweet to smoky.

In Italy, chilli is traditionally grown in sunny regions, hand-picked and often air-dried or preserved in olive oil to retain its pungency and aroma.

Scoville grades measure the pungency of chili on a scale that indicates the capsaicin content, with higher values meaning stronger pungency. This scale ranges from 0 to 16 million (pure capsaicin) Scoville units, with our chilies in olive oil reaching a moderate heat level of 30,000 units.

Peppers are mild and large, peppers are sweet and fruity, peperoncini are mild chili, and chili includes a wide range of hot to very hot varieties.

Chili should be stored in a dry, cool and dark place to maintain its pungency and freshness; dried chili can also be stored in airtight containers.