Espelette pepper, a little pep in our dishes!
The pepper from Espelette (South-West France) is a dark red one, about 10 centimetres, with a delicate and hot taste. It’s pretty yummy in typically Basque recipes, like the piperade (a mix of onions and tomatoes), the Basquaise chicken, the chipirons (Basque small squids)… The pepper has its own celebration in Espelette, every autumn, with the pepper’s blessing and the brotherhoods’ cortege... What about peppers in powder? They let them dry about 15 days, on the houses’ façades. The Basque climate suits them well, they love heat!
The little history
Piment (French word for pepper) comes from Latin word pigmentum, ″pigment″. It came from America, then it was introduced in Spain and in the neighbouring pays Basque in the 17th century. It was a kind of local black pepper! Basque meals are pretty spicy. They even put pepper from Espelette in the famous chocolate from Bayonne! Espelette comes from Basque word ezpeleta, meaning ″place full of box-trees″. The Ezpeleta was also a famous and powerful local family, ennobled in the 17th century as ″barons″: we still can see their castle...