Espelette chili pepper products PDO from Ferme Fagaldea

0.30 kg/box

Espelette chili pepper products PDO from Ferme Fagaldea
Buy directly from the farmer. Without intermediaries.
Limited & seasonal harvest.
The farmer does (yet) not ship to:  United States
Contents of the box: 1 box contains 0.3kg of espelette chili pepper products PDO
Variety: Gorria
1 x Espelette chili powder PDO (40g) : 4 rating (mildly hot), used instead of pepper
1 x Espelette chili salt PDO (90g)
1 x Espelette chili mustard PDO (90g) : accompany all meats (hot or cold) and is useful for making a vinaigrette
1 x Espelette chili jelly PDO (90g) : use it as a glaze or paired with meat or poultry, enjoy on toast with foie gras, salmon, cold meats, cheese etc.
Keep the jar cool after opening
The ingredient list as well as allergen information can be downloaded from "Additional analyses"
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Product with history
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Farmer 360
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Small Farm
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Family Farm
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Visitors welcome
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Additional analyses
Denise Cazenave
My name is Denise Cazenave. I'm in my fifties, and I work in partnership with my son Andoni at GAEC FAGALDEA [the FAGALDEA Joint Farming Group]. I moved to the farm following the accidental death of my brother, who was a farmer. I have always liked gardening and looking after plants, and I wanted to turn that interest into a profession. After passing my BTS [Higher Technical Certificate] in agricultural techniques (1985), I worked as a dairy cow technician for 20 years. In 2005, thanks to support from my husband and my children, and help from my parents and neighbours, I summoned up the energy to continue production at Fagaldea because ending operations in the family business proved to be too painful for me. Despite the doubts, the arduousness of the work and the long hours, I carried on and made the work less physically demanding by making some investments. The advent of my son as a partner (after GAEC FAGALDEA had been created) in 2011 has allowed me to focus again on the production of Espelette chili peppers, while he takes care of the animals. My mother handed down to me all the ancestral recipes, which I still reproduce today when making my jellies or other chili recipes. As for my father, he passed on to me the age-old ways of forecasting the weather (especially regarding hail) by observing the natural world and the behaviour of the animals. For example, if a sheep goes off to graze in a rather sheltered place, near a forest, it is sure to rain during the day. Conversely, if the sheep are outside and they move a long way from the farm, the weather promises to be fine. As for the farm work, in March I sow the pepper seeds that I selected during the previous harvest. In April, these seedlings are pricked out into clumps in a greenhouse when they have two seed leaves. In May, the peppers are planted in the open field. The following months are devoted to manual weeding, staking and path maintenance. From late August until the beginning of December, the peppers are harvested manually as and when they turn red. Once the peppers have been gathered, they are next sorted, spread out on racks (for ripening that allows the aromas to develop over at least 15 days), manually hulled, placed in the drying oven and ground down. The chili powder is then vacuum-packed. These operations are carried out before evaluation by the organoleptic committee, which certifies that each batch of chili meets the PDO specification criteria as regards the grinding, colour, aroma and intensity of its spicy flavour.
Ferme Fagaldea
The Fagaldea (Basque for "beech grove meadows") farm, dating from the 15th century, is located in the village of Itxassou in the Pyrenean foothills, near the Spanish border and 20km from the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the 44 oldest houses in the village of Itxassou. Our family arrived early in the 20th century and took over the farm from another family as sharecropping tenants so as to raise sheep and dairy cows. When I started to manage it in 2005, we began to produce and market the Espelette chili pepper professionally. The region is hilly and is very green because of its mild and rather rainy climate. The Basques are very attached to their identity, their culture, their language and the architecture of their houses. In the Basque Country, farms are generally small, often on sloping ground, and the workforce is family-based. Such sustainable agriculture has enabled farming to be maintained and 4 PDOs to be developed (Ossau Iraty cheese, Irouléguy wines, Kintoa pork and Espelette pepper) in this corner of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region. Our farm is typical of this kind of agriculture. Indeed, we do more than produce Espelette PDO peppers and Itxassou cherries: to comply with the Ossau Iraty specifications, we raise the local breed of dairy ewes (Manex), which we milk in the winter and move to fresh pastures in the summer. We also have suckler cows, a blonde variety from Aquitaine, which are raised according to a Herikoa charter: the animals are born and raised in the Basque Country without the use of any GMOs [genetically modified organisms]. This system, with its combined breeding and cultivation, has existed for at least 5 generations. It enables good use to be made of the pastureland, besides maintaining the sloping plots and the mountainside. As far as the production of Espelette pepper is concerned, crop irrigation is prohibited by the PDO specifications. So the rain takes care of that. If a drought occurs, there are, exceptionally, PDO exemptions that allow the use of water, but this is still a very rare event. We treat our plants with products that avoid harming all helpful fauna. Preventive treatments are prohibited. We can only treat the plants if there is a problem in the production cycle. We prefer to use black soap to eliminate the aphids that impede a plant's growth. Our greatest fear for the peppers stems from the weather is drought. It can dry the plants up and cause them to die and drop their fruit. There is nothing we can then do to save them. There are two of us working all the year round – my son and myself. My parents help us from time to time. During the harvest period (September to November), we hire seasonal workers for 1-2 days a week to help us do the job. They are people from the region. All our peppers are processed. From the 1st of December onwards, we are no longer allowed to harvest peppers. So they are left in the field. All the fruit passes through the PDO evaluation commission and is liable to be inspected. If a batch is not compliant (for being too spicy or failing in size, colour, grinding or aroma), we are forced to throw it into our compost area. The area contains pepper leftovers and manure. Next we put all that through a compost machine and then use it as organic matter in the fields.
Technical information
Ferme Fagaldea, Itxassou, FR
1 man and 1 woman
28 ha
Cultivation technique
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