10 villages make up the Piment d’Espelette/Ezpelako Biperra PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) zone.
A single variety: the GORRIA pepper, farm-selected: each year the producers selected the best peppers from which they take the seeds: these seeds will be sown the next year.
3 products are covered by the label: whole fresh peppers (for intra-branch commercialisation), strings and the powder.
- Production :
- Hand picking
- Harvesting at maturity (80% red)
- From the beginning of August to first frosts, at the latest 1st December
- Systematic use of chemicals prohibited
- Strictly controlled irrigation
- Transformation to powder :
- Open-air drying for a minimum of 15 days
- Oven finishing for several hours
- Vacuum packing before testing for certification
- Stringing :
- Hand-stringing on the production site
- 2, 3 or 4 peppers on food string.
- Minimum of 20 peppers per final string
Plots and processing plants: every plot and production plant involved in growing and processing Piment d’Espelette PDO must be previously validated by the INAO (National Institute for Origin and Quality, French Ministry of Agriculture). Espelette peppers must be grown in open fields.
- Strings and loose peppers: sampling
- Pepper powder: systematic checks: each lot of Piment d’Espelette PDO powder sold is previously tested by a panel of producers, food professionals and knowledgeable consumers. They are the ones who decide on the authenticity of the powder and its right to claim Piment d’Espelette / Ezpeletako Biperra label.
PACKAGING AND LABELLING REGULATIONS
Information leaflet on packaging and labelling Piment d’Espelette PDO