The product that is loved the most in Calabria is the Peperoncino, the so called hot chili pepper. In every house you will see peperoncino hanging from the ceiling, and in every dish you will taste it. Oh yes, i calabresi like it hot!
You name it and they use peperoncino; chocolate liquor with peperoncino, gelato al peperoncino (oh yes you can have this type of ice cream in the coastal town Diamante), pasta dishes with peperoncino, sausages with peperoncino, grappa al peperoncino and so much more…
I just mentioned the coastal town Diamante which is located 27km south of Praia A Mare. At the entrance of this town a red statue of the capsicum will welcome you to let you know that Diamante’s true symbol is the peperoncino. To honor this hot jewel the Peperoncino Festival is held every September. This celebration includes concerts, dances, film reviews, street theater and a competition to find the person capable of eating the greatest number of peppers. Makes me think who could be so crazy to eat many of these hot chili peppers. Well it aint me, that’s for sure!!
However, the event, which has acquired international standing, is organized by the Italian Chili Pepper Academy. And just a few kilometers north of Diamante you will even find the Peperoncino Museum, in Maiera’s Palazzo Dicale. Here you can learn more about the history of Calabria’s pride. I have been in Diamante 2 years ago and unfortunately haven’t visited this museum. This year we didn’t go to Diamante. But it is on my bucket list for my next trip to the South!
Today Calabria’s peperoncino has been awarded DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) status and is one of the region’s most important economic and cultural resources.
Typical view in Calabria:
I found this extremely funny!! “The Viagra of the poor”: