In Southern Italy it’s already summer and it’s now that, peperoncini (the way we call the hot chili peppers) are stitched on wires and hung from buildings.
Calabria is their Italian land: women from all over the region leave them to dry in spots with sunlight and ventilation to conserve them. They are eaten whole, fried until crisp, crushed, powdered or as a paste.
Because of The Mediterranean climate, the the small, round, fruity and spicy peppers are grown in Italy. It was Columbus who brought peppers back from his travels thinking they were related to black pepper. From Spain and Portugal, then varieties of this species spread across the Mediterranean and across the Arabian Peninsula to India and then into China.
This ingredient is so much part of the Region’s diet that you can find it eaten in different ways: as the condiment Bomba Calabrese and the spreadable pork sausage ‘Nduja.
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picture source: Peperoncino Festival/ YES Calabria