St. Augustine is home to the famous datil pepper, a small, pepper that gradually changes from green to yellow to orange color as it ripens, and has a sweet, almost tangy, yet spicy flavor. Long used in cooking on Florida’s Historic Coast, the datil pepper can be eaten raw and is used in a variety of jams, jellies, hot sauces, salsas and dips to accompany all kinds of dishes. Who would think that such a tiny little pepper could pack so much taste!
The datil pepper’s history is nearly as old as the city itself. While the true origin of the pepper is still hotly debated, it is most widely believed to have been brought to St. Augustine by Minorcan immigrants in the 18th century who have used it extensively in their cuisine. Today, the datil pepper is known as “the pepper of St. Augustine” and was at one time featured on the city seal. Local farmers and chefs who espouse the farm-to-table movement and work together to continually create locally inspired dishes featuring the datil.