There are two types of pepper, closely related that are referred to as a banana pepper, but it is the sweet variety that we usually call the banana pepper, sweet banana pepper, yellow wax pepper, or banana chile. There is, however, a hot banana pepper.
The hot variety of this pepper is the Hungarian Wax. Both these peppers are of the ‘wax’ variety, species Capsicum annuum, the most widely cultivated and economically most important species. 1
They are red when fully mature, but they are usually consumed in their immature yellow or pale stage. The sweet banana pepper probably derived from Hungarian stock and was introduced into the United States in 1923.
There are several cultivars such as the Early Sweet Banana, Long Sweet Yellow, Sweet Banana, and Sweet Hungarian.
Banana peppers grow to about 10 cm long (3-4 inches), have a mild yellow-green color, and are used in salads or as a stuffed mild pepper. They are also sometimes pickled. They are often offered, in a pickled variety, as a topping on pizza, especially from pizza delivery places. They are often, for an unknown reason, included whole inside the pizza box and when you see “hots” being offered as an ingredient in Submarine sandwiches, or Hoagies, etc. it is usually sliced pickled banana peppers.
Sweet Banana Peppers Scoville Rating
Sweet Banana peppers range from 100 to 500 on the Scoville Heat Unit Scale, meaning they are a very mild chile. It is possible to come across sweet banana chile peppers with virtually no heat, so the heat range is often given as 0-500 SHU’s.
Hot Banana Pepper Pepper Scoville Rating
The Hungarian Wax variety is much hotter, from 5,000 to 10,000 on the Scoville Scale, making it a medium-heat chile, typically hotter than a Jalapeño but not as hot as a Serrano.
- Includes most of our familiar peppers including the bell pepper, Jalapeño, Thai and other bird peppers, tabasco, etc.