There are many different varieties of peppers. Contrary to popular belief they are not all strong, sweet peppers are only 0 on the Scoville scale. This scale, ranging from 0 – 10, is used to measure the strength of peppers.
Almost 100 varities, all grown locally at Crevant, are exhibited at The International Potato Festival.
Click here to discover some varieties of peppers !
The pepper was eaten in Mexico around 7000 years before our era. It was one of the first plants cultivated by man on the American continent. It was Christopher Colombus who described them in a report to Spain as a very hot pepper eaten by the natives.
We identify two categories of peppers :
Capsicum annum, or large pepper, originally from Brazil.
Capsicum frutescens, or small pepper, more hot and spicy than the large pepper.
Peppers are widely used in International cooking : Indian curries, Hungarian goulash (the pepper used is called paprika), chilli con carne and tortillas from Mexico, pickles and chutneys in the United Kingdom, couscous with hot chilli sauce in North Africa, Spanish spicy sausage etc...
Peppers are very rich in vitamines C, B1 et B2. The basic piquants essentially come from Capsaicin extracts, a yellowish oil with a very hot flavour. The principal pigment of peppers is carotene, the same as the tomato and carrot.
The Espelette pepper
Originally from South America, the Espelette pepper, Ezpeletako Biperra, A.O.C. since 1999 (controlled designation of origin ) is grown in 10 villages in the Basque region.
Sown under cover in February, and planted outside in May, the peppers are harvested from August until the first frosts. After being strung up to dry naturally in a warm airy place, the red peppers are ground to obtain a fine powder. This is used in much of the Basque cooking: chicken (poulet basquaise), minced beef or veal (axoa), baby squid (chipirons), etc...