You have probably already heard of Espelette peppers. This is a Basque agricultural product with a worldwide reputation. Present in the most common ingredients of Basque cuisine and even international gastronomy, the Espelette chilli pepper is a dried chilli pepper originating from the authentic Basque village known by the same name, Espelette.
Some details to know about the famous Espelette chilli pepper
The Espelette chilli pepper is grown in the Basque Country, its name coming from the town of Espelette. These dried chillies were used to decorate the facades of Basque houses. They were the perfect decoration in all Basque cuisine. For centuries, they have been used instead of black pepper in Basque cuisine. In the past they were dried on the front of houses, but nowadays they are dried in the open air and then put in the oven. Their fragrance is so special thanks to their long exposure to the sun. The peppers must be exposed to the burning rays of the midday sun. The drying oven should be set at a temperature of around 45°. The dried chillies are dark red in colour.
The authentic village of Espelette, a must-see
The charming Basque village of Espelette is very well known for its chilli peppers and is located at the foot of the Pyrenees. During your stay on the Basque Coast, a visit to this village is a must. You will discover beautiful houses decorated with dried chillies hanging on the balconies and walls. During your visit, don’t miss the gourmet escapades with the tasting of these famous chillies which come in all their forms depending on the recipe. You can also visit places related to the Espelette chilli pepper such as the Accoceberry Piment d’Espelette, the Espelette chilli pepper workshop, the Espelette chilli pepper syndicate, etc. Not to mention the various cultural events that allow you to immerse yourself in the Basque atmosphere.
Espelette chilli festival, an event not to be missed
A festive event dating from 1968, the Espelette chilli festival takes place every year in Espelette. It is a two-day festivity at the end of the chilli harvest. You will attend a remarkable cultural event with sales of chillies and local products, Basque dance performances, concerts with a male choir, a solemn mass, gastronomic meals with Espelette chillies, an induction ceremony marked by the awarding of the Chilli Prize, popular festivals, etc. Of course, such a trip will allow you to discover the particularities that make the Basque Coast a destination that cannot be ignored.