Espelette/Basque Hot Pepper - (Ezpeletako bipera)
The treasured chile of the Basque country, known for its robust and slightly smoky flavor. Some chiles are given treasured status, where they are celebrated in art, the kitchen, and festivals. The Espelette Pepper has become a cultural and culinary icon in the Basque country where it has gained controlled-name status.
This is a land-race variety that was introduced into the Nive Valley by Gonzalo Percaztegi in 1523, and grown in the Basque region and especially the village of Espelette since. Plant is from 2 - 5' tall, has good yields of more aromatic and sweeter than hot peppers maturing from green to a deep red, usually from 15 - 30 per plant.
To be known as "Piment d'Espelette", the chile must be grown, harvested and dried according to specific cultural traditions in the area around Espelette.
Best used dried for its treasured powder.
Indigenous to Central and South America, peppers were developed into a crop plant around 3,000 BC or perhaps even earlier. Columbus introduced Capsicum into Europe and it also spread to Africa and Asia.
Peppers are used fresh, dried, and cooked. Peppers contain vitamins A and C.
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This grew very well in a hot dry summer. The skin was tough and the flesh thin. I think this would be a pepper best for drying and grinding into powder. It was not my favorite fresh pepper due to the toughness, but it did have a good flavor and hotness that one expects out of a hot pepper. The plants also get a bit taller than the other peppers in the patch, so put this one in the back of the garden. Another plus was a big harvest and it had no pest issues.