Just by naming it my mouth starts to water! You don't have to be from Spain to value this delicacy in: salads, gazpacho, vinaigrette, red sauce, soup, mousse, stew, as a "tapa" or in a traditional tortilla and anchovy "pintxo".
Some of the most typical ways of preparing them are: stuffed with tuna, "bonito", hake, crab, cod, or even with picadillo and ripe fried plantain like I love to prepare it.
The variety "piquillo" is native from Navarra, a region of northern Spain, which is known worldwide for it's "San Fermín" Festival, its wines and also the famous "roncal" cheese.
The "piquillos" are small triangular shaped peppers, 2-4 inches long, not too thick and of a beautiful captivating dark and bright red color. When eaten raw they aren't so flavorful, that's why in Navarra they have developed a way to preserve them. The result is a delicacy protected with it's own origin of denomination, D.O. Piquillo de Lodosa, which is known internationally.
The unique flavor of the "piquillo de Lodosa" is achieved by a rather elaborate, natural and delicate artesanal process that turns the peppers into memorable sweet bites few can resist. The peppers are handpicked, washed with water, and roasted with direct fire in a wooden oven. After which they are disheartened, peeled and its seeds are removed. The secret to the "Piquillo de Lodosa" is that its the only pepper thats peeled manually without the use of water or chemicals, reason why it preserves intact its aroma and natural flavors.
The "piquillo" is a jewel of Spanish gastronomy that we are lucky to find so easily in the preserve sections of many supermarkets. You'll be able to find many variations of it as well in cans or glass jars. There are many brands, some even produced out if its city of origin, in United States or Italy, but if its from Spain and has the D.O Lodosa, Navarra seal you can be sure your purchasing the most authentic and by far the best!