Espelette red pepper

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Espelette red pepper

Cultivated since the 16th century in the Nive Valley, Piment d'Espelette likely originates from America, where it was discovered by explorers alongside maize. The climate of the region, quite similar to its place of origin, allowed the cultivation of the chili pepper to spread across most farms in the Basque Country's valley. Initially used to address meat and food preservation issues, Piment d'Espelette quickly became a highly prized commodity, although its use remained confined to family settings for a long time.

Granted Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1999, the renown of Piment d'Espelette has consistently grown over the years. In the late 1960s, it even led to the creation of the Piment Festival, which now attracts thousands of visitors annually. Derived from this fruit, it is the only dry spice produced in metropolitan France. Piment d'Espelette also comes in a complete range of condiments, such as purée (usable like mustard) and chili jelly. This spice will enhance a barbecue or pot-au-feu, but you can also savor Piment d'Espelette in an oil and egg yolk emulsion through a delicious "Bayonnaise."

credits photo : © jerdhal - Fotolia.jpg

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