Espelette/ Basque Hot Pepper Seeds - (Capsicum annuum)
- Seed Count:
- Approx 25 seeds per pack
- Days to Maturity:
- 80-90 days
- Days to Germination:
- 14-21 days @ 75-95F
- Light Preference:
- Full sun
- Plant Spacing:
- Heirloom, Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO seeds
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. Our original seed stock came from the Espelette region, and is grown by one of our experienced, professional growers.
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.
For the truest flavor, allow the fruit to fully mature on the vine, almost starting to dry before harvesting it. Lay the pods on a cookie sheet where they have good air flow and let them slowly dry over a few weeks until they are brittle before de-seeding and grinding into a powder. Use in dishes where the aroma and flavor can be appreciated.
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These grew very well in my community garden plot, with little attention beside soil prep at the start. I found them really versatile, with a balanced flavor and no bitterness as some peppers have. Mine were about as hot as a jalepeno. Added them to stir fries and soups, and fridge pickles and they were wonderful.
I gave a 5 star rating because the germination rate was very good. Unfortunately, the seedlings must have been delicious. I came home from work one night and the cat had eaten the tops off every seedling. These were the only plants he even got near. I will try again next year.
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.