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Peperone dolce di Altino (Presidio Slow Food)

It is a small horn-shaped red pepper, also called "a cocce capammonte" (upside down) because the fruits develop upwards. Once harvested they are stuck with needle and string, so as to create a long necklace called "crollo". They are left to dry in air for several days, then they are toasted in the oven. The dried and toasted peppers, with a characteristic sweet taste, are then ground to coarse grains or pulverized in ancient mortars called "piloni". The powder is used for the condiment of pasta or for the preparation of sausages such as the ventricina of Vasto. The dried peppers can also be quickly passed in hot oil to be crumbled or eaten whole in first courses, cod, pork and vegetables, as in the typical "pizz e foje". The powder can also be used in homemade pasta and bread, giving the dough a bright red color. The origin of this pepper probably derives from the introduction of paprika by slave populations established in the province of Chieti in the fifteenth century.
Every year in the summer a festival is organized in the center of the village of Altino, dedicated to sweet pepper where all the districts of the country compete with recipes and dishes based on peppers, each linked to a story or an anecdote to tell.

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