Sport Peppers

Sport Peppers are great sliced on pizza, diced or chopped on sandwiches, or placed whole in cold cut subs or hoagies. But their most famous use is on Chicago Style Hot Dogs.
These small, hot peppers – also called Mississippi Sport Peppers – are sold “pickled” in jars and are a critical ingredient of Chicago Dogs.

capsicum annuum plant

Capsicum annuum or C. annuum, commonly called Mississippi Sport Peppers, grow erect and mature from shiny green to bright red as they mature. I plan to grow my own this year in order to sample the mature red pods, as the only pickled ones I’ve seen are always green.

I’ve been buying the IL Primo Brand Chicago Hot Dog Sport Peppers for years, but recently ordered a few bottles of Alpino Brand Sport Peppers to compare.

IL Primo and Alpino sport peppers

Alpino Brand Sport Peppers

Ingredients: sport peppers, distilled vinegar, salt, less than 1/10 of 1% sodium benzoate and calcium chloride

The Alpino Brand peppers are packed in an 8 ounce jar. The typical sport pepper is about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, but the variety of differing sizes in this jar is surprising.
They are the hotter of the two brands here, but the skin is a bit tougher and chewier than the IL Primos. I can’t help but think there’s just something “off” tasting with these… perhaps the preservatives are at fault.

IL Primo Brand Chicago Sport Peppers

Ingredients: sport peppers, vinegar, salt, FD&C Yellow 5

The IL Primo Brand peppers are also packed in an 8 ounce jar and are more uniform in size. With slightly less heat, but much softer tender skins, these little babies have a nice peppery vinegar flavor.
The pepper itself seems to taste brighter and fresher than the Alpino brand.

Overall Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – Mild, tingly heat that leaves quickly. Very reminiscent of a strong banana pepper, with better taste.

You can purchase either of these products using our links below. The 8oz bottle is on the left, the big 16oz bottle is in the middle.

Disclaimer: We purchased this product for our own personal use and review purposes. No compensation was received. The thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

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