Italian long hots – but what kind of pepper are they anyway?
Oh, I really love these peppers! These peppers are pretty popular in the Philadelphia area. Know simply as “Italian Long hots”, for years, I would wonder what type of pepper the Italian long hot peppers really were. Then, one day, a few years ago, I was at my local store picking up some vegetable plants for my garden and I saw the answer: Italian long hots are called Mesilla peppers.
A quick search on Google confirmed that Italian long hots are indeed Mesilla peppers.
These are pretty easy to find at certain local stores but I’d imagine outside of the Philadelphia area, they might not be as easy to find? Growing them is super easy! They don’t require a lot of water, just plenty of sunshine. I bought two plants this year and they yielded about 2 dozen peppers each.
Mesilla peppers: Heat index
So, it’s been said that eating Italian long hots is like playing Russian roulette because some are milder than others. That’s pretty much true in my opinion but I will aways pull out some of the seeds if I don’t want too much heat. According to the Scoville heat index, the Italian long hots have a heat index of 4500, which is similar to that of Jalapeno peppers. If you seed Jalapeno peppers, they are not that hot and the same holds true for Italian long hots.
Cooking and serving Italian long hots
I usually cook long hots in a pan on top of the stove, using a little salt and olive oil. Pretty simple. This time I opted to put the peppers in the oven after drizzling with olive oil and salt. Easy!
Serve long hots with bread and cheese, or (my preference) as a topping to your favorite sandwich. My favorite way to eat these is stuffed in a veggie hoagie (roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, broccoli rabe and provolone cheese). They are also good on roast beef or roast pork sandwiches.
Italian long hots
- 12 Italian long hots
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Place peppers on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt
Roast until the peppers soften up, about 15 to 20 minutes
Cool and serve with bread and cheese or as a topping for sandwiches (you may want to seed the peppers before eating to reduce the heat, depending on your tolerance for spicy foods)
These may be covered with olive oil and stored in the refrigerator for later use