Vinegar Peppers

Vinegar Peppers

Casa Visco Vinegar Peppers

We’ve talked about sport peppers and Pastene ground peppers and Crystal hot sauce, but vinegar peppers deserve their own post. They’re an Italian American specialty item in which greem bell peppers are pickled in a mild white vinegar bath. The brand I commonly see in stores in upstate New York is Casa Visco, a Schenectady-based processor. Amazon has no idea what a vinegar pepper is, but you can mail order them from Pastene as long as you don’t mind a hefty shipping charge.

The classic application of this product is “Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers” which is just what it sounds like. Get some thick pork chops, salt and pepper to taste and sauté them in fat, either their own trimmings or bacon grease, along with some sliced onions and some diced potatoes which have previously been boiled till almost tender; at the last minute toss in some vinegar peppers along with a little of the juice. Easy, foolproof and delicious.

I have also had vinegar peppers in cheese steak sandwiches, an application to which my teenagers are especially partial. If you want to make your own, recipes are easy to find on the internet. The jarred peppers are still crunchy, not fully cooked but not raw either. I expect they are blanched to just the right stage by having boiling pickling liquid poured over them and then being immersed in the canning bath. I haven’t tried this myself, however, and probably won’t since the commercial product is of good quality and so readily available. One of the few indisputable benefits of living in the cold and the snow.

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