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Piment d’ Espelette is a Basque chili pepper so critical in their cuisine they call it the third spice. Salt, pepper and the unique sweet and spicy Espelette pepper form the basis of their signature flavors. Fortunately we now have a version of this much sought spice grown right here in California. Piment d’ Ville is grown in Napa Valley from the seeds of the Espelette. It began as the passion project of a chef who wanted to grow the prized pepper for his restaurant. Now they not only produce more than his restaurant needs, they also have created 3 versions. For this recipe we're using the smoky variety. The flavor profile is like a smoked paprika but more complex and spicy. Paired with the sea salt and honey you get a sweet, spicy, salty combination that compliments the sweetness of the corn.
Piment d'Ville is a sweet and spicy Basque Espelette pepper that is locally grown in California. It is meticulously hand harvested by farmer Nacho in the small town of Boonville. Prized by French chefs, this ingredient was only available imported from France until a Napa Valley chef committed to sustainability made it his mission to bring the seeds to his own farm.
Nacho believed everything should be done the old-fashioned way, completely by hand. He experimented for 3 years with traditional growing and drying methods.The farm grows the peppers organically using traditional methods. Small continual harvests span a four-month period from September to December while the peppers are picked, dried, de-stemmed and de-seeded all entirely by hand. Then Nacho smiles with pride as he grinds the dried chiles bucket by bucket.
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