Piment d’Espelette – Red Chili Pepper Powder from France 1.41oz

The plant, originally from Mexico and to a lesser extent South America, was introduced in France from the New World around the 16th century. After first being used medicinally, it has since become popular for preparing condiments and for the conservation of meat and ham. It is now a cornerstone of Basque cuisine, where it has gradually replaced black pepper and it is a key ingredient in piperade. AOC espelette peppers are cultivated in the following communes: Ainhoa, CambolesBains, Espelette, Halsou, Itxassou, Jatxou, Larressore, SaintPA esurNivelle, SouraAde, and Ustaritz. It is harvested in late summer and, in September, characteristic festoons of pepper are hung on balconies and house walls throughout the communes to dry out. An annual pepper festival, attracting some 20,000 tourists, is held in October. This gourmet pepper powder is imported from France.

Quick facts

  • Imported straight from France
  • Espelette pepper (Piment d’Espelette in French)
  • Variety of pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, PyrnesAtlantiques
  • In 2000, it was classified as a AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee, meaning the name is protected)

Top reviews

Where’s the taste?

I was expecting a real zing. I’ve had Basque food before and it was great. This pepper added nothing but some red flakes. Maybe it had been sitting in a warehouse too long
MarlinRushville, IN

piment d’espelette

I received the order from Touch of Europe before the scheduled date, and the product was exactly what I expected , so a good purchase experience
BuddyThompson, PA

Hoity Toity

Very good, high class snub your nose at the neighbours kind of stuff. Brings whatever you are cooking closer to imamu. Great on meats.
RosarioBlue Mountain Lake, NY

A good source for this distinctive and unique spice

Piment d’Espelette is a unique product. It is 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. 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 large pinch of fleur de sel or kosher salt, and a 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.

Another reviewer reports that he received piment d’Espelette from this source (“Touch of France”) that was tasteless. I’ve not had that experience. I received very fresh piment with the AOC labeling, with aromas and flavors that are perfectly “typique.” If you really want to get “fresh,” you could go with the whole dried, corded peppers which are also sold subject to the AOC (corded by hand with no fewer than 20 peppers per cord). I like the convenience of the ground piment and recommend this supplier without reservation based on the product I received. The price is about as fair as one can find nowadays, and I bet you can double up on the order for a single shipping charge.

For more about piment d’Espelette generally, you can google piment d’Espelette and you will find the “Site officiel de l’AOC” (alas, for some reason the good folks at Amazon would not allow me to include the URL in this review).

JoslynSullivan, OH

Nice product

This is a great spice, typical of the southern Basque area of France. Slightly spicy/hot, it adds great depth of flavor to any dish where you would think a dried pepper such as paprika might be appropriate. Used to be very hard to find in the US.
CassieMorral, OH

gourmet chef requested

Exactly what my son-in-law, who is a gourmet chef as a hobby, requested. It was a birthday gift for him and he was thrilled because he could not find it locally.
MargrettWheeler, WI

Nice spice

Use it sparingly, but it is a wonderful flavor to add a mystery spiciness to your favorite veggie dishes. Saw a recipe calling for it in Thomas Kellers cookbook – forget which one. Been using it lovingly ever since!
CarenSeymour, WI