The Espelette pepper is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.
The plant, originally from Mexico and to a lesser extent South America, was introduced into France from the New World during the 16th century. After first being used medicinally, it subsequently became 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.
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