Spice of the Month

Dill Pollen
Piment d' Espelette - Spice of the Month

Piment d’Espelette is the king of the chili world. It is the only AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée—which translates as "controlled designation of origin") pepper on the planet. This protective designation mandates that the chili must be certified as produced in the Espelette region of France in order for it to carry the name Piment d’Espelette. You might be asking yourself: “why all of the trouble for this little chili pepper?”. Well…the micro-climate in Espelette, France is exactly right to produce the most interestingly complex chili imaginable.

The fruits are harvested in late summer, after which they are strung up on festoons and dried until they are ready for consumption in October. Our Piment d’Espelette is finely crushed and retains a magnificently sweet aroma reminiscent of stone fruits like peaches and apricots. Ranking only 4000 units on the Scoville heat scale, Piment d’Espelette is a mild chili and can be used almost anywhere. We put it in anything from eggs to chili. Combine with ketchup to add a little zip. Add to nearly any soup as your secret ingredient.

With Vanns Spices, you can rest assured that you will purchase the freshest Piment d’Espelette from the most recent crop season.

Piment d' Espelette Spread


1 cup of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped shallot
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
I 1/2 teaspoons of Piment d' Espelette
Maldon sea salt to taste
White pepper to taste


Finely chop the shallots - the soft onion hit is nicer than crunching down on raw garlic. Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon and ideally store in a mason jar to keep for a few days in your refrigerator.

*Recipe courtesy of Voltaggio Brothers.

  Join us on Facebook.