This Basque pepper is unique to the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people. The peppers are mildly spicy (4,000- 6,000 Scoville Units) and have a flavor that locals describe as having hints of peach and sea brine. Basque peppers are generally about 4-6 inches long and the plants grow up to four feet tall.
We like to eat them fresh, roast them and they make a wonderful pepper powder when dried and ground. If you travel the Basque region in October, be sure to visit the Celebration of Peppers in Espelette, France where this wonderful variety is the star of the festival!
Note: This pepper has been given a protected designation (AOC, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) by the European Union, ensuring that only peppers grown in the Espelette region may be labeled as “piment d'Espelette.” This is designed to protect the heritage and integrity of this unique pepper, which is a commonly-used ingredient in Basque food.
Origin: We brought the parent seed of our Basque pepper home from a visit to France where a friend of Basque origin grows and saves seed of the variety in her garden.
(Approximately 20 seeds per packet)
Planting Instructions: We recommend starting peppers indoors in a sunny and warm location 4-6 weeks before last frost in spring. Plant outdoors in full sun after danger of frost in spring. Note: pepper seeds need soil temperatures to be at least 70 F to germinate and we use a heating pad under the seedling tray to maintain temperature.