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November 05, 2013
Sweety Drops In

Hardly bigger than a pomegranate seed and just as pretty, the Sweety Drop is touted to be the next hot thing in the produce market. In fact, grocery trend watchers say it could be as big a seller as the cherry tomato.

The Sweety (also known as the "Incan Red Drop") is actually a pepper, only like the "Sweet 100" tomato, a pepper much smaller, sweeter and pear-shaped than most of its kin.

Developed in the highlands of Peru from a seed believed to be a wild cross between a tomato and a jalapeno pepper, it has been cultivated commercially over a period of two years to enhance its natural flavour - one that is both sweet and tart.

That unique combination makes it work for salads as well as for spicy dishes such as pizza, or even dessert pastries. Plus chefs love it for the jewel-like pop of colour it adds to any plate presentation. We first encountered the Sweety during a luncheon at Lupo where the kitchen had used a scattering of the peppers to counterpoint a dish of juicy yellow tomatoes and creamy burrata cheese.

You won't find Sweety Drops in the local grocery stores yet, however Cioffi's Meat Market & Deli have been selling them to restaurants in large 750 mL tins for $10.99. They're so itty bitty, they'll go a long way. If you don't plan on eating them by the handful, The Gourmet Warehouse also has them in stock in smaller jars for $5.95.

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