Chicago Ingredient Spotlight: Peppadew Peppers at Provenance Food and Wine

Peppadew peppers have become one of our go-to appetizer components. Honestly, our relationship with these sweet, tangy and slightly spicy peppers borders on addiction, and they're pretty much guaranteed to impress any guests.

Peppadews are great on their own, but find out how to make them really sing...

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Peppadew is actually a brand name for sweet piquanté peppers grown in South Africa. We get ours from Provenance Food and Wine in Lincoln Square and we usually take owner Tracy Kellner's advice and stuff them with goat cheese. If we think guests may be stopping by, we like to keep them on hand so we can whip up a quick snack in just a few minutes.

We buy them by the pound from the refrigerated case, but they're also available in jars (Provenance's Logan Square location only carries the jarred variety).

They're great atop a toasted bagel and cream cheese or chopped and tossed with pasta right before serving.

Kellner also suggests stuffing them with cubes of mozzarella or a soft, creamy blue cheese like Hook's Blue.

Our best recommendation: Buy more than you plan to serve – you'll no doubt eat a few while you're stuffing them.

Related: The Cheesemonger's Seasonal Spotlight: Goat Cheese

(Images: Joanna Miller)

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