Back to Featured Forager: KL Keller Foodways

Piment d'Espelette AOP

La Maison du Piment

Regular price $11.95 Sale

In Stock

We accept payment in the form of debit or credit cards from Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. We also accept PayPal.

Spicy Pepper Powder from Basque Region of France

Piment d’Espelette is a rare, hand-harvested red chile pepper grown in the Basque region of France (the southwest area bordered by Spain, between the Pyrénées and the Bay of Biscay). Prized for its fruity flavor and fragrant red pepper aroma, Piment d'Espelette Powder AOP offers a heat that is warm and food-friendly, complementing many types of cuisine.

Authentic Piment d'Espelette has long been prized by the best chefs around the world. A coveted addition to marinades and dry rubs for chicken, pork or seafood, this sweet-spicy pepper powder also adds oomph to deviled eggs, mayonnaise, and even butter for popcorn. Bake gougères with Gruyère cheese and Piment d’Espelette, or add to creamy roasted red pepper soup—or a Basque-style ratatouille.

Featured in these recipes:

 

AOP Designation and the Harvesting of Piment d'Espelette

With a shared vision of excellence and sustainability, a group of dedicated Basque Piment d'Espelette farmers developed a strict standard by which to preserve this traditional local food, and in 2007, Piment d’Espelette’s AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) was officially recognized by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine.

The AOP designation is a European provenance guarantee, acknowledging that Piment d'Espelette is authentic only if grown and processed in the region that, with its specific terroir, grants the coveted spice its inimitable flavor profile. This verdant region is a tiny, 22-square-kilometer sweep of farms across 10 villages in and surrounding Espelette—the French Basque town near Bayonne. It enjoys the growing conditions and specific terroir of the French Basque countryside: slightly acidic soil and a very wet, hilly terrain overgrown with deciduous forest.

Under the AOP standard, only hand-harvesting of the pepper is allowed and specific processing considerations must be adhered to, from the type of wooden racks the peppers are dried on to the specific size mesh used for creating the powder. After at least 15 days of open-air drying, the peppers are tasted by trained tasters to ensure perfect and consistent flavor.

Our dear friend Kitty Keller of KL Keller Imports works directly and exclusively with one of these farmers, Vincent Darritchon of La Maison du Piment. In addition to Piment d'Espelette Powder AOP, La Maison du Piment also makes a stunning Espelette Pepper Jelly (Piment d'Espelette Gelée de Marie Jeanne).

Please note, Piment d'Espelette should be kept in an airtight container once opened to maintain freshness.

More Info

Producer
La Maison du Piment
Country
France
Region
Province of Labourd, near Bayonne
Size
15 grams

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
100%
(8)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
V
Vince
A great purchase... Subtle but delicious!

I have to admit, i use this in way more dishes and recipes than I am probably even supposed to! The flavor is mild and almost TOO subtle, but it's there and delicious. It goes in dressings, on top of over medium eggs, on meats, you name it. I love it so much i bought a second one as a gift for my foodie friend! She loves it!

c
chambolle
A great source for this unique spice

Piment d'Espelette is a unique product, subject to Appellation d'Origine Controlee regulation, which extends the right to use the AOC label only to ten communes in the Basque country in France. The peppers are grown, harvested, dried and prepared subject to strict regulation and, like wine, cheese and other products subject to the AOC, must display the typical "organoleptic characteristics" of the traditionally produced spice. Piment d'Espelette is never strong or screamingly hot, so if you are expecting something akin to Scotch Bonnet peppers, or the acrid bite of "chili pepper" blends, look elsewhere. However, it does have a sweet and smoky aroma, akin to good pimenton or paprika, along with a distinct peppery 'bite' at the finish.

Piment d'Espelette is never inexpensive and it is usually not easy to find in the US, so having this source available is great - the Piment from Market Hall is fresh fresh fresh. I use it in almost everything -- for example, peel and slice cucumbers, toss with a good quantity of freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer lemons preferred), a pinch of sugar, a healthy dose of fleur de sel or kosher salt, and a generous pinch of Piment d'Espelette. Let the cukes sit in a colander for up to half an hour, tossing occasionally, then serve. Trust me, you will not fail to notice the presence of the piment. It's also great and sufficiently assertive to dress a good sized composed salad with just a pinch in a basic vinaigrette dressing of lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and grapeseed, walnut or olive oil. Wonderful sprinkled lightly over a platter of carved "rotisserie chicken" from the grocery. Adds a nice edge to rillettes or a terrine. Adds pop to scrambled eggs, quiche... just think of anything you'd like to lend a subtly sweet, smoky and hot red peppery note, and give it a healthy pinch of Piment d'Espelette.

This is now a staple in my kitchen and it sits on the table in our house beside a pepper mill and a dish of fleur de sel or Maldon salt - indispensible.

G
Grit
LOVE THIS STUFF!

Gives a warm depth of flavor with a nice little kick, spicy but subtle. Great on eggs, meats, poultry, creamy salads, you name it. A must have in my pantry.

G
Guest
love this stuff!!!

I love this stuff...gives a warm depth with a little kick. Great on eggs, meats, chicken potatoes, you name it.

L
Lynn R.
a hauntingly wonderful pepper spice

This is much beloved in southwest France. I had heard mention of it but it never really got my attention and then adoration until I went to Bayonne France. Espellette has considerable local mystique in Basque France where they sell a range of local artisanal products avec espellette including ketchup. But on what seemed to be unending recommendation of many locals, I tried both the local artisanal chocolate and also ice cream. Fine beyond words!!! Espellette is very carefully cultivated and harvested. It is known for compartively 'subtle' heat which comes on slowly, and fine nuanced flavor. I use it frequently but find I like it best where it is not masked by other heavy spices - but I use it plenty.

Espellette is definitly a regional, artisanal item in France and in general is not that easy to find outside of France; this is an excellent brand.