Espelette Pepper-Cornerstone of Basque Cuisine

Espelette Pepper is the cornerstone spice flavor of Basque cooking. The appellation d’origine contrôlée designated the spicy condiment in 2002 Piment d’Espelette. To prepare a dried Espellete place the whole dried pepper in your mortar and pestle and pound the heck out of it. Alternately, place a broken up pepper in your spice grinder. This sweet bright flavor adds a unique layer of brightness to the oncoming wave of heat that is pleasant without being too hot. Sprinkle the powder on meats or fish or add it to salad dressing for a kick. I would be interested in hearing from other Basque Cuisine cooks on how they like to use this amazing ingredient!