Navarra's Piquillo peppers are a culinary treasure cherished worldwide. These small, triangular-shaped peppers with intense red color are known for their sweet and slightly spicy flavor, as well as their smooth and fleshy texture. They are an iconic ingredient in Navarrese cuisine and have gained recognition and admiration in international gastronomy.
Navarra's Piquillo peppers are cultivated in the region of Ribera de Navarra, where they find the ideal conditions to develop their unique flavor and characteristics. Far from the cold of the Pyrenees, the warm and sunny climate of the southern zone, combined with the rich and fertile soil, contributes to the exceptional quality of these peppers.
The harvest of Navarra's Piquillo peppers is done manually, when they have reached their optimal ripeness, which usually occurs in mid-summer, specifically between the months of July and September. Outside the harvest season, Piquillo peppers can be found in preserves, which are available year-round. The peppers are carefully roasted, either over wood or direct fire, which imparts them with their smoky flavor and distinctive aroma. After roasting, they are hand-peeled, removing the charred skin to reveal the tender and flavorful pulp inside.
The versatility of Navarra's Piquillo peppers is astonishing. They are used in a variety of traditional and contemporary dishes. They can be stuffed with different ingredients such as cod, meat, seafood, or vegetables to create delicious main courses. They are also used in sauces, preserves, and as a garnish, adding a touch of color, flavor, and elegance to culinary preparations.
The quality and authenticity of Navarra's Piquillo peppers are guaranteed by their Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). This certification recognizes that the peppers are grown, processed, and packaged according to the established standards to preserve their Navarrese origin and quality.
Navarra's Piquillo peppers are a culinary gem that combines flavor, texture, and tradition, in short, a must-try for foodies. Their sweet and spicy taste, smooth texture, and smoky aroma make them a prized ingredient in both local and international gastronomy. To discover and enjoy Navarra's Piquillo peppers is to savor the excellence and passion of Navarrese cuisine.