Lombardo is an old Italian pepperoni variety. Pepperoni is the Italian term for hot peppers. In the US, pepperoni refers to a hot salami often used as a pizza topping. Therefore, the word peperoncini is more precise when we talk about hot chili peppers from Italy. When and by whom Peperocini arrived in Italy is not exactly clear. What we do know is that tomatoes and chiles became firmly entrenched in Italian cooking by the late 15th century.
Peperone Lombardo is named after the first growing area in Europe: Lombardy in northern Italy. The region is known for its fertile Po plain. A few years after the discovery of America, the area was fiercely contested by the French, Swiss and Spaniards. It is possible that Chiles were registered in the area by Spanish soldiers around 1500. This would make Lombardo pepperoni one of the first chili varieties to grow on Italian soil.
Peperoncini Lombardo is considered very mild, if not completely without heat at all, similar to the sweet bell pepper. But relying completely on it can result in severe coughing. Pepperoni have their own pepper flavour. They taste great fresh, pickled, stuffed with cheese and grilled.
This pepper is widely used in Mediterranean salads, antipasti and as a snack. A must in any spicy pizza or pasta sauce is one to two Peperocini.
Lombardo plants can grow to a height of about 80 cm with proper treatment. Usually have two or three protruding twigs from which almost 15 cm long fruits hang. If the chili has little root space, it will become much smaller. Sometimes it only grows to 40 cm high and produces few peppers. Peperoni likes a loose, humus-rich soil. Preferably in the garden or on the balcony and indoors in a larger flower box. Pepperoni are not winter-resistant. The plant shrinks even with the slightest frost.