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Part 4 - The Red Peppers of Senise

Senise is a town situated on the edge of Europe's largest reservoir. Actually depending on who you speak to could be second largest or the largest made of beaten earth, no facts are actually fact here and that's all part of the charm.

The Pepperoni of Senise, a dried, sweet pepper is probably one of the most delicious snacks produced in Italy. Released on an unsuspecting public it could do a lot of damage. Sweet, crisp with an explotion of flavour in the mouth. Deseeded and deep fried in olive oil for seconds it is a total joy.

It is not important in this case to mention a particular grower. The peppers are amazing and wherever you go in Senise you will see chains of them hanging, outside shops, on private balconies. Festooned in August in all their vibrant colour and maturing to a deep Bordeaux colour by the beginning of the following year.

Apart from the whole peppers, they also produce a fine powder which l suppose could be called paprika. Made from the ground peppers its main function is in the wonderful salami of this region. It gives this amazing, rich, red colour not dissimilar to chorizo. It's also used with potatoes and pasta and dusted onto the famous Tursi orange salad. Along with marvellous summer peaches Tursi is renowned for its 'partiale' as the oranges are known in dialect. This salad is fabulous and would be perfect with rich meats such pork, duck or even pate. I also made a pungent salsa with the soaked peppers, roasted tomato, toasted pistacchio and almonds. Based on the great Romenesco sauce of Spain. Perfect with crudites, as a pesto to serve with pasta or as partner to arancini or potato croquettes.

To be continued....

Martine x

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