Piment d’Espelette


Sold in our jars under the Local Spicery label “Espelette Pepper.”

Piment d’Espelette, a mainstay of many French Basque recipes with a following of gourmands around the world, offers an extraordinary bright, tangy flavor and moderate heat that dissipates quickly in the mouth. Grown in only 10 villages in the southwest corner of France, the French government recognized the unique qualities of Piment d’Espelette with the only “Appellation d’Origine Controlée” (AOC) designation ever bestowed on a spice.  Under this designation, the growing and production practices are strictly controlled.

  • Only fruit from a single harvest from a single farm may be bottled in the same package.
  • Piment d’Espelette must be designated by the farm and vintage (no blending).
  • Piment d’Espelette Powder must be sold within two years of harvest to ensure freshness.
  • All Piment d’Espelette is subjected to annual tasting by the AOC Syndicate.

Local Spicery’s organically-grown Piment d’Espelette comes from the farm of Maritchu and Dominique Saint Martin (named “MADO” after the first two letters in each of their names).  It is designated “biologique,” which signifies that it is grown organically and with no irrigation in order to accentuate the variations between vintages.  MADO Farm is located in the village of Souraide, which features a microclimate with gentle temperatures in the summer, generous rainfall, and warm breezes.  Due to the marine influence from the Bay of Biscay, Souraide allows for a long hang time for the peppers, producing a flavorful, complex taste.

Maritchu and Dominique decided to follow the strict biologique practices out of a deep commitment to culinary quality, healthful eating, and the earth.  The MADO Farm comprises 40 Hectares, on which they run a sheep dairy of 200 sheep, and grow their Espelette Peppers on approximately one Hectare.  We purchased our Espelette directly from the MADO Farm after touring and sampling from many other farms, and imported it to the U.S. to introduce it to our customers.



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