Cubanelle Pepper Vs Poblano: 7 Key Differences

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Cubanelle pepper is also known as sweet pepper, but it still packs a mild simmer of heat; it ranges from 500 to 1,000 SHU. Cubanelle is commonly used in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico; it makes an essential part of the authentic cuisines from those regions.

This pepper is also known as the Italian frying pepper and is used as a topping on sausages and pepper sandwiches, especially in Italian restaurants.

On the other hand, poblano peppers are mildly hot and range from 1,000 to 2,000 SHU. They are arguably Mexico’s favorite chili pepper and are also known as the ancho pepper. When fully ripened, poblano is red and usually sold in a dried form.

From this short description of both peppers, you could tell they are deliciously mild and serve any recipe. But is there any difference between cubanelle pepper vs poblano pepper? Are cubanelle peppers hotter than poblano?

Let’s find out!

Cubanelle Pepper Vs Poblano – Differences & Similarities

Below are the differences between cubanelle pepper vs poblano pepper:

1. Heat Level

Cubanelle pepper is at least three times milder than a jalapeño pepper at the highest heat level and can range all the way to 80 times milder. Cubanelle isn’t used for their heat, but mostly for their sweetness and thin walls that make them great for frying.

The poblano pepper is another popular mild chili with a range of 1000 to 1500 Scoville heat units. So how hot is a poblano pepper? Although they are generally mild chilies, poblano peppers have been known to pack a surprising punch every once in a while.

Every pepper has a different heat level. But overall, it is much less got than most peppers. Poblano is somewhat between a bell pepper and a jalapeño and pairs well with different recipes. 

Ripen poblano peppers has a higher heat level than green poblano peppers that are much less spicy. The pepper can be dried, which turns them into ancho peppers and gives it a pungent smell.

2. Taste Difference

Cubanelle has a sweeter and flavorful taste like bell peppers; this is why these peppers are so popular.

However, unlike poblano pepper and bell peppers, with thick walls, the cubanelle has thin walls, which can be stuffed with filling but is best suited for frying. Toss some chopped cubanelle with a little olive oil in a pan; this enhances cubanelle’s mild sweet heat.

Poblano is also a mild pepper with a rich and earthy flavor note. They are thick peppers like bell pepper, making the vegetable excellent for cooking, roasting, and stuffing. When poblano pepper is roasted, its waxy outer skin can be peeled off easily.

3. Size and Appearance

Cubanelle peppers have a shape that is similar to Anaheim or banana pepper. It grows up to six inches in length and is curved with a width of about two inches.

This pepper has a yellowish-green color when unripe but develops a rich red color as it matures.

Poblanos, on the other hand, have a dark green color but turn brown or dark red as they ripen. This pepper has a heart shape and can grow up to four inches in length and two inches in width at the base.

Poblano has a slender shape but can be as large as bell peppers, sometimes even larger; it also has a pointy tip like jalapeños and other hot chili peppers.

4. Substitute Options

What are suitable substitutes for cubanelle peppers?

Cubanelles is originally from Italy but has become more popular in Latin American cuisines than Italian; most cubanelles are imported from the Dominican Republic, so they may not be easy to find depending on your region.

These mild and slightly sweet peppers with thin walls that can be used in general cooking can be replaced with the following peppers:

  • Anaheim peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Bell peppers

Anaheim peppers may not be not as sweet as cubanelle peppers, but they have a similar size, shape, wall thickness, and overall flavor.

Bell peppers and banana peppers also make a great cubanelle pepper substitute as they all have similar sweetness, size, and thicker walls.

On the flip side, what pepper is similar to a poblano? These peppers are imported from Mexico and sold in Mexican markets, but if you can’t lay your hands on poblano, here are some replacements you can use instead:

  • Anaheims chili
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Bell peppers

Anaheims have a higher heat level and lack the earthy flavor of poblanos, but they work quite well as a poblano pepper substitute for most recipes due to their similar size and thickness.

Poblano peppers are not the same as green peppers, but they make a good substitute for stuffing and general cooking; however, the dish may have less heat and a different flavor than it would with poblano pepper.

A spicy substitute for poblano is jalapeño peppers; if you want to add more heat to your dish, you can use jalapeños in place of poblano peppers.

5. Uses and Preparation Methods

Cubanelle makes a vital part of authentic Cuban cuisines, and they are commonly used fried. When fried, cubanelle peppers can be served on their own or as a topping on the delectable Italian sausage and pepper sandwich.

Cubanelle peppers also make a great addition to salads, soups, and even pizza. It can also be used for stuffed pepper recipes, although the thin walls of the cubanelle peppers aren’t quite thick. You can also use cubanelle as a substitute for bell or poblano peppers in any recipe.

To add a sweet touch to your salsa, you can add chopped cubanelle peppers; it is an amazing chili for mild fresh salsa.

Poblano peppers are commonly served as dried, stuffed, roasted, or fried. They are also used in pureed sauces like mole or enchilada sauce.

You can toss in some chopped-up raw or sautéed poblanos in relishes, salsas, chilis, salads, and quesadillas. You can make a simple, delicious breakfast treat by stuffing poblanos with scrambled eggs and cheese then baking them in the oven.

Chiles en nogada, a very popular dish often enjoyed on Mexico’s Independence Day, is made with poblano peppers.

Another classic Mexican dish made with these peppers is chiles Rellenos; the poblano is stuffed with cheese, dipped in a batter of flour and egg, and then pan-fried or baked.

Poblanos can also be stuffed with a variety of other ingredients like beef, ground meat, beans, cream cheese, and even seafood like shrimp.

6. Where to Buy Cubanelle Peppers and Poblanos?        

Cubanelle peppers are becoming increasingly popular, making them easier to find; they are readily available in supermarkets, especially if you live in Caribbean or Italian-influenced regions.

You can also grow cubanelle in your garden, and you can get its seeds from garden centers or online vendors.

Cubanelle peppers are not available as hot sauces or packaged spicy salsas because it is sweet pepper not known for their heat.

Poblanos are also becoming popular these days. They are available in many grocery stores throughout the year. Poblano peppers are imported from Mexico, and they are readily available in Mexican markets.

They are typically usually sold per pound, either loose or prepackaged. When you buy your poblanos, opt for fresh ones with a bright color that is firm and has no soft spots, the peppers should also be free of blemishes.

You can also buy dried poblanos, also known as ancho chiles, in the spices or dried goods section of many Mexican markets and some chain supermarkets. It can also be bought online.

7. Storage

Cubanelle peppers can be stored whole and fresh for weeks in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. If you have leftover chopped fresh or cooked peppers, store them in an airtight container to avoid moisture loss. Cut peppers should be used within a few days.

Storing poblano peppers follows a similar process; you can also dry the peppers before storing them or place them fresh inside the freezer.

Give the peppers a good rinse and dry them with a paper towel. You can decide to slice up the peppers before storing them; if you do, place them in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag before placing the peppers in the freezer. Poblanos can last for at least ten months in the freezer.

When storing your poblanos peppers whole, you can place them in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer, and they can last for two to three weeks.

Roasted or peeled poblanos can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

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