The Nuances of Classic, Smoky, and Spicy Piment d'Ville

The Classic Piment d'Ville

Piment d’Ville is our flagship spice. The love of our life. Our California-grown Espelette chile powder. Grown from the seeds of Piment d’Espelette from the Basque region in France, this chile powder is a little sweet and a little spicy. It’s the kind of spice that adds deep background notes to your food and a peppery finish. 

Piment d’Ville adds rich flavors to dishes when used while you are cooking to season things like onions while they are sautéing, veggies before getting roasted, or meats before they get cooked. It can also add a beautiful red-orange color to your foods in the cooking process. Piment d’Ville is a perfect garnish, adding a hit of bright color and a little heat. 

In the Basque region, it is used just like black pepper, finding its way with salt into most savory dishes. With that in mind, don’t be scared to use more than a pinch. It’s a pepper to use liberally, not one to think of as precious. If you are new to Piment d’Ville and need help figuring out how to use it, search for recipes that use its french counterpart, Piment d’Espelette. Once you’ve worked up a bit to understand the flavor and how to use it, you’ll be converted like the rest of us and use it on, well, just about everything. 

The Scoville Rating for Piment d’Ville is 4,000 to 5,000 units making it similar to a jalapeño, but much more like black pepper in pepperiness. 

Quick ideas for using Piment d’Ville: Season fried eggs, sprinkle a dash on avocado toast, use as a rub on roast chicken, add to hummus, or season your hash browns with it.

The Smoky Piment d'Ville

I was talking to a friend of mine who had the best approach to our Smoky Piment d’Ville. She talked about really feeling like a true adult when she discovered smoked paprika, noting that it added smokiness and depth of flavor to foods without tasting like a campfire. She also said, now here’s where we think she is a genius, that it was a game changer for her cooking since she lives in an apartment without a balcony. We hadn’t thought about it before, but if you want to add that “just off the grill” smoky flavor to your cooking but don’t have the ability to put a steak or a burger on your grill outside, Smoky Piment d’Ville is the answer to your grill-less dreams. It won’t set off your smoke detector. It won’t break fire codes. And it won’t give other tenants in the building a reason to be mad at it. What it will do though, is add just the right touch of smokiness to your food. 

We totally feel the same. The 2020 Smoky Piment d’Ville is much more aligned with Spanish smoked paprika than the harsh smoky flavor that comes in a straight smoked salt. We use the same Piment d’Ville chiles from our farm in our Smoky Piment, the difference being the way we process them. Late season chiles are cured in our greenhouse and then dried in our dehydrator, but in the drying process, we dry them at a slightly higher temperature to give them the slightest burn to change the flavor. We also add some additional burned chiles to the dehydrator during the process to really enhance the flavor. 

The Scoville scale rating for our Smoky Piment is 9,000-10,000 units, similar in heat to a chipotle chile, but still milder than cayenne. 

Apartment dwellers of the world, go forth and make smoky flavored foods without the worry of the fire department showing up and waking up the whole neighborhood!

Quick ideas for Smoky PDV: use on elote or corn on the cob, season your ground beef for burgers (or add some at the end), make a smoky mayo (for said burgers), use in place of smoked paprika.

The Spicy Piment d'Ville 

Our 2020 Spicy Piment d’Ville is the chile that will give you more heat than pepper flavor. Its much spicer than our regular Piment d’Ville, but the coolest thing is that its still the same pepper, just processed a little bit different. 

To make our Spicy PDV, the first chiles to ripen off the plants are harvested and put directly into the dehydrator. They aren’t given the same “curing” time in the greenhouse that our chiles for regular PDV get, meaning that instead of taking some time to relax and turn a little sweeter, they take all their heat right into the dehydrator with them. And thus, the Spicy Piment d’Ville. 

The Scoville Rating for Piment d’Ville is at 15,000-16,000 units, making it hotter than a jalapeño, but milder than a cayenne. 

Quick ideas for Spicy PDV: add to guacamole, use in salsas, use in place of cayenne, sprinkle on fresh watermelon, make chile lime roasted nuts, add to the rim of your margarita.