Piparras: all about them

When we talk about chilli peppers, the characteristic spicy flavor of these species comes to us. However, today we are going to talk about a kind of chilli that does not sting. Is about the pipe. It is a well-known plant grown in the Basque Country. Thanks to its climate, it has a fresh aroma and a very pleasant texture when it comes to eating. It is well known in the gastronomy of the Basque Country.

In this post you will be able to know all the characteristics of the piparra as well as its cultivation and essential care. Do you want to know more about the chilli that does not sting? Keep reading.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Origin and characteristics
  • 2 Uses and agriculture
  • 3 Suggestions for the piparra
  • 4 Piparra cultivation

Origin and characteristics

gastronomy of piparras

The piparra has its origin in America and arrived in Spain thanks to Christopher Columbus. As agriculture advanced and its techniques were revolutionized, it has been differentiating itself more and more from other types of peppers. This evolution is also due to the type of climate to which it has adapted.

And it is that the geographical and climatic conditions in which it has developed are essential for it. Require a low altitude (less than 450 meters), mild to low temperatures, and a fairly high degree of humidity and precipitation. All these requirements are met in the Basque Country area.

It is a chili pepper with tender flesh and thin skin. A unit usually measures between 5 and 12 cm and has a narrow and more elongated peduncle characteristic of all chilli peppers. The shape is narrower and elongated and the color is yellowish green throughout the chilli. The slight shine gives it a pretty cool look.

As is known, not all crops are good. There are optimal lengths of each species so that the flavor and texture are the best. In this case, the best pipes are those that measure 8 cm. If they measure more than 8 cm it is because they have been exposed to the sun longer and, therefore, they will be coarser for the palate.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, the special characteristic of the piparra is that they do not have any heat, unlike most chillies such as the cuaresmeño chili, the common chilli and ghost chilli (See The Scoville Scale for spiciness levels). When the plant is in an adult state it can reach a measurement of between 25 and 30 cm.

Uses and agriculture

plate with piparras

These chili peppers begin to give their flowers from the end of July until well into October. Sometimes they can be seen with the flowers even in November if the temperatures and rainfall levels have remained stable. As the cold comes, it begins to lose its leaves and will have to be pulled out. This is done because its life cycle has come to an end.

The pickup of the pipe is not always fixed. It depends a lot on the sun and rainfall. On the one hand, if the weather is sunny it can be collected every two days. However, if there are months with worse weather, it should be collected every fifteen.

to collect it is done by hand when it is in the optimal stage of development. It does not have to be cut, but the tails are bent until they are broken and at the closest end of the plant so as not to damage the fruit.

It has perfect organoleptic qualities to serve in all kinds of bars and restaurants in the area. This is due to temperature and rainfall. The aroma of pyrazine is characteristic of peppers and is possessed by the piparra. This aroma is perfect to combine with herbs with fresh aromas such as parsley, mint, basil and chives. It is ideal to eat with tomato and olive oil, as it helps to highlight the acidic and spicy touch and stimulates the taste and appetite.

People often use it in long-curing products such as anchovies, mojama, ham, cheeses, and jerky. For this reason, the piparra is a good enhancer of the natural flavor.

Suggestions for the piparra

potato tasting

These chillies are highly prized for their flavor enhancer. For this reason, it is highly recommended to use them as an accompaniment with legumes or other ingredients to make salads or with olive oil and salt. They can also be eaten alone since, unlike most chillies, the piparra does not sting.

They can also be eaten fried or sautéed. Some use it as an aperitif like a tapa of olives. It can be used in broths to give it an exotic and full-bodied touch.

Piparra has properties that help fight cholesterol, in addition to other pathologies such as bronchial catarrh, acids, low back pain and gastric pain. If they are eaten with medium frequency, the benefits can be acquired as analgesics against pain, to destroy some fungi or molds and to improve digestion. They are also good for burning fat during digestion.

As a suggestion, we recommend you sauté it a little with oil in a very hot pan. We add some salted anchovies and tomato slices and the great flavor that the combination with the piparra has is something special. You sure love it.

Piparra cultivation

cultivation of pineapples

Now we are going to learn how the piparra is grown. We will have to buy some chilli seeds in the spring time, which is when its sowing is optimal. The temperature should range between 8 and 10 degrees (remember that they need mild temperatures). By day they can be up to 25 and 30 degrees. If you go outside this temperature range, growth will be less optimal and will slow down quite a bit.

Once grown, it is important to let the seeds rest for several days to promote germination. The seedbed can be filled with a substrate for outdoor plants whose pH is between 5,5 and 6,5. If we plant it directly in the ground, we will need a fertile land with high levels of manure.

With the sown seed we moisten it and wait for germination to take place. With 5 pairs of sprouted leaves we can transplant it to a larger pot with about 10 cm in diameter. It is important to place them in full sun, although if the weather is unfavorable it is better to put them indoors.

I hope that with these tips you can enjoy all the flavor of the piparra.

Piparras: all about them

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