The village of Espelette (64 Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Nouvelle Aquitaine) in the Basque country of Southwest France devotes a weekend to celebrates with its Red Pepper Festival – Fete du Piment on 26 – 27 October 2019 – near Cambo-les-Bains, south of Biarritz.
The Peppers of Espelette are recognised as Appellation Controllee status. Needing a lot of sun and heat to ripen, the peppers are traditionally woven into garlands and hung from the roofs of houses throughout the town to dry. So, the town is decorated with garlands of bright red peppers, and there are stands offering a whole range of gastronomic delights based on the fiery pepper – plus music, feasting etc – all with a Basque accent.!
Planted in the spring, the Piment d’Espelette is picked by hand as soon as the fruit turns red, from August to the 1st of December. The process, from the seed to the final powder, follows very strictly laid down processes. Cultivated in the fresh air, on small plots, the production of the Piment d’Espelette is respectful of the environment ; irrigation and the use of pesticides are strictly regulated.
From the beginning of 2000, with the acquisition of the PDO quality labels, the will of the producers is to protect their spice and its precious harvest.
Today the Piment d’Espelette is the first and only spice in France with these quality labels
For more info see www.pimentdespelette.com