Basque Espellette Spice
Organic Basque Espellette Spice
What is Piment d’Espelette? Red chili pepper from the Basque region of France, just across the border from Spain, in the Nive Valley. The powdered form of Espelette pepper provides a subtle heat, often referred to as a chef’s secret weapon.
Two summers ago I found a small organic farm selling these peppers in a lovely Durham Farmer’s Market. I brought back, strung up & dried, then separated the seeds and ground the skin. Last year with the seeds, I grew my own! Now I have seeds for the coming season and my spice.
The pepper first arrived in the village of Espellette in 1650, when a Basque sailor returned from the New World with the vibrant pepper. Over time, the pepper became a cornerstone of Basque cuisine, a ubiquitous ingredient even deemed worthy of its own festival, celebrated annually on the last weekend of October with traditional dances, concerts, parades.