In the Pollino National Park, between the provinces of Potenza and Matera, there’s a precious jewel that promises, from the first bite, a tasting experience that has less to do with human things and more with heavenly ones.
1 - A great discovery. We can’t tell whether Cristopher Columbus became famous because he discovered America of for the importation of the Pepper variety that would have soon became the red gold of Lucania. But we are sure that the Spanish explorer would appreciate a forkful of our Cacio e Pepe with Peperone Crusco di Senise IGP
2 - Without love forget the ‘crusco’. Observing an elderly woman among the narrow streets of Senise as she weaves a ‘serta’ (a 2 meters-long rope necklace) and arranges the Peppers neatly under the sun and fresh air, is one of those experiences that makes you forget the current year and forces you to reflect on what really matters in life.
3 - It’s like oil and water. If attempting to reinvigorate a Peperone Crusco with water in front of a Pollino Park native doesn't cost you your life, rest assured that eternal banishment from Lucanian lands won't take it away from you. Repeat with us: oil is Crusco's only friend.
4 - Seared, rather than fried. The ritual of the final steps of Peperone Crusco preparation begins with a deep breath, and continues in boiling oil (never steaming), where seconds make the difference. 1, turn, 2, turn, 3, and off to the freezer for the heat shock.
5 - Also in cinema. The director Gabriele Salvatores has celebrated it in a black and white tale that smells of soil and silence: it’s the short film that welcomed the visitors to the Italian Pavillon at Dubai Expo in 2020. The movie transports the spectator through the Italian culinary traditions, where Peperone Crusco is the greatest exponent.
6 - It’s a star of international cuisines. From the 11/06/2014, the mysterious date that gives the name to the famous sandwich with Veal Pastrami, Peperone Crusco, Anchovies and Quail Egg by Nicola Batavia, to the Ziti with Peperone Crusco, Calf’s Sweetbread and Pecorino of the Michelin starred-chef Alessandro Mecca. This ingredient, which has more the appearance of a pantry demigod, has crept into haute cuisine gaining a respect demonstrated by its use always in purity, as if to prove that perfection, at least in cooking, can exist.
7 - Three types, one soul. Pointed, truncated and hook are the shapes of Peperone di Senise that we can find in nature. But the process that brings it to the miracle of Crusco is always the same. If, however, you were looking for a poetic explanation of the sentence ‘the inner soul counts more than appearance’, you will not find it here: if it doesn’t crunch, it’s not good.
8 - ‘The Peperone Crusco di Senise Days’. No, it’s not a film by Pasolini, neither a fundraising to save a vegetable. But the festival that colors in red the warm August in Senise. If, in front of the Peperone Crusco, you feel one of those passions that only a Summer love is able to unleash, you can’t miss this.
9 - A dish, an ingredient, a blessing. To be tasted as it is, rough to the touch, tender to the bite and intense to the taste, or as garnish for the dishes that need that extra twist. The dialectal name Zafaran suggests its use as powder, maybe just stardust.
10 - It’s always a surprise, at Obicà as well. A flavourful signature of our Cacio e Pepe and a sprinkle of light leaves on our Prosciutto Cotto and Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Croquettes, the Peperone Crusco is one of those things that remind us how passion and research of Italian quality always have their synthesis in one of your smiles at the first bite.
If, at this point, you want Peperone Crusco more than everything, BOOK NOW!