Piquillo peppers are a sweet, delicious pepper with a touch of spice. They are roasted over a beech wood fire, then peeled by hand. This traditional method imparts a smoky, complex flavor that makes this the finest roasted pepper in the world. These peppers are meaty and tender, and better than any pepper you have tried in the past.
We are proud to offer the only wood-fire roasted piquillos available in the US. Almost all others are roasted over gas flames, which is more efficient, but does not impart the same roasted, smoky taste.
Piquillo peppers have been a local secret for ages. A generation ago the famous Basque chefs of northern Spain, capitalizing on the characteristic of the piquillo pepper to keep their shape even after cooking, began experimenting with various stuffings. They used crabmeat, cheese, bacalao salt cod, chorizo, Morcilla. The variety seemed to be endless, and as visitors brought home rave reviews from their visits to the region a modern classic was born.
Piquillos are a unique variety of red peppers grown in Lodosa, in the region of Navarra. It is an area of gently rolling hills famous for bountiful harvests of vegetables. Over the centuries the local people became particularly adept in the preservation of vegetables, such as white asparagus and artichoke hearts (which we also carry.)
The way they preserve the peppers is unique. The peppers are a brilliant red, triangular in shape, with a uniquely curved point - a piquillo. Fresh from the harvest, they are roasted at high heat over 'aya' or beechwood and scorched so that the outer skin is loose, and the inner flesh remains firm for easy peeling.
While still hot, the peppers are individually skinned, cored and seeded by hand using only a cloth and a small paring knife. Finally they are packed very carefully in the jar, in their own natural juice, without ever coming in contact with either water or brine. No seasoning, no water, no brine added - they are piquillo peppers, pure and simple.
Beware of inexpensive piquillo peppers from places such as Peru. These tend to be much smaller, with thinner skin and a much milder flavor. Only a jar stamped with the symbol of the Denominaciom de Origen Piquillo de Lodosa is the true thing. Freshly harvested, wood-fire roasted, hand cleaned and full of flavor!