The Veggie-Infused Basque Eggs You Should Know

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A traditional pipérade is made from bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and a spice called piment d’Espelette, per Culinary Ambition. Eggs pipérade is simply the addition of eggs to this medley of acidic ingredients, which is a very common way to serve pipérade. According to the Piment d’Espelette website, the spice originated from Mexico but became prominent in the temperate Basque region which occupies parts of Spain and France. Its name actually comes from the French word for pepper, “piment,” and the French town in which it was produced, Espelette. Pretty straightforward, right?

Piment d’Espelette usually comes in a powdered form and has the spice level of something between cayenne and paprika. French Affaires shares that the piment d’Espelette is rated 1,000 to 1,500 SHU on the Scoville Scale, making it a pretty mild pepper that is far less spicy than cayenne pepper, which has a SHU of 30,000 to 50,000. Still, piment d’Espelette offers the mild kick in this Basque dish that is otherwise missing in French cuisine. It’s what makes pipérade more snazzy than its cousin, the French ratatouille, which is a similar stewed vegetable dish that implements tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions.

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