Piment d'Espelette AOP, 125g


New Harvest has just arrived!

Espelette is not only the name of a pepper that plays a signature role in Basque cooking, but is also the name of a small village tucked away at the base of a mountain in the French side of the Basque region, lined with winding streets decorated with bright red chilies that have been tied by hand, one at a time, onto strings. They are hung as garlands on the eaves of white farm houses so the chilies can get a little sun before being heated in a furnace and ground into powder.

Cultivated in this part of the Basque country for centuries, the peppers were first used to flavor a unique chocolate recipe. It was originally in the 17th century when espelette peppers were used to spice chocolate in the kingdom's leading chocolate producer, Bayonne. Later on, in the 18th century, it started to be used to season the famous "Jambon de Bayonne" (Bayonne hams) and some other charcuterie items such as paté, sausages and pies. Today, it is used in many basque recipes such as piperade – and most often used in place of regular black pepper. If you are ever traveling in this region, you’ll notice small dishes of ground piment d’espelette at restaurant tables. You may also see it in stores as a paste, cream, or pickled whole. Piment d’espelette is prized among many chefs in France and around the world.

The process to produce piment d’espelette (officially categorized as a spice) is long, taking at least 8 months. The piment d'espelette we offer is Certified ORGANIC, and imported directly from the farm in France. It has a vibrant red color, with aromas of fruit, hay, and grilled preparations. Sweet with a hint of bitterness, it has a medium heat intensity/spice level that lingers.

The AOP certification guarantees an exceptional level of quality that is rigorously monitored by the French government, that also regulates production with very specific, authorized producers in Espelette.

Use piment d’espelette on thinly sliced cured ham, egg or seafood dishes, or in one of the many traditional French/Basque recipes (such as Axoa, or Marmitako). Piment d'espelette can also be used in dessert applications, and pairs wonderfully with chocolate or orchard fruit.

Gluten-free. Vegan. Certified Organic.

125g / 1.58 oz