Somehow when I decided to move abroad, I unknowingly picked an epicenter of delicious food. From pintxos to cider houses to sheep cheese and squid, I can't seem to get tired of the scrumptous Basque food.
When my cousin Cathy and Grammy came to visit, Joseba whipped up a plate of one of his favorite dishes - a plain and simple plate of peppers. But these aren't just any peppers, these are large and tasteful green peppers that you cook lightly with some extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt and eat just like that. From a restaurant dish to a pintxo liking these peppers is a Basque requirement. They are to die for but something my family had never seen before.
Just the other day, an article came across my laptop called 'A Guide to Peppers of the Basque Country' so I took a gander and sure enough, there they were - the infamous Gernika peppers or as we would call them Choricero peppers.
As the article explains, peppers, which were brought home from the New World by the Basques in the 16th century are a staple in Basque cooking. From seasoning of food (roasting peppers) to stuffed pepper dishes (the red choricero peppers) to the stand along green choricero peppers and their close relatives the guindilla peppers that are used for many pintxos, bars are peppered out!
Like we are used to in the Southwest, people here also hang peppers out to dry - but to a much larger extent. I have seen sides of houses almost completely covered in red peppers drying! If the person doesn't have a whole side of a house, they atleast hang a strand or two out on thier patio! And why wouldn't you? They are little taste explosions!
I don't know readily available the green choricero peppers are at home nor how much they go for (quite a pretty euro here) but if you run across them, just buy a couple and try them out - I can guarantee you won't regret it!