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Aug 26, 2011 11:40 AM

Espelette Pepper Boston area source or substitute?

Urgent need to make Toro-style corn given the season and availability locally of awesome corn - I have everything but espelette pepper and would like to get it - where may it be in stock this weekend? (Penzey's doesn't carry it - not interested in website orders)

Alternatively, what would be a good substitute in your opinion?

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  1. As a substitute for Piment d'Espelette you can use either unsmoked hot paprika, ground cayenne or Aleppo pepper. Curiously enough though, I've found it in stores like TJMaxx and Home Goods...

    ETA: I just checked Formaggio Kitchen and see what I found:


    2 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Second on the sharp (aka hot) paprika, which is the closest equivalent. Cayenne is both a bit too hot and kind of one-dimensional. Aleppo pepper is seriously awesome -- we buy it by the giant Penzey's bag and use it in all sorts of things -- but it's so different in flavor and texture that I'm not sure it's useful as a direct substitute.

      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

        i get smoked spanish paprika, both sweet and hot, at Marty's in Newton. It might work and I believe they may have unsmoked options.

    2. You should give Formaggio or Christina's in Cambridge a call.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bear

        I've purchased it at Formaggio's in Cambridge. Pricey but worth it.

        1. re: bear

          I got mine at Christina's. I don't think it was cheap, but don't remember it being outlandishly expensive either. There is also a liquid called piment d'espelette at Savenor's. I don't know what the liquid is, exactly (I wanted the powder form) but that's another option.

        2. l feel the espelette pepper is not mimicked by anything else. l have Aleppo, Urfa, Marash, and 7 different Extremadura pimentons and while all are excellent, they are not Espelette. And to make your life a little worse, the special zing flavor in Espelette fades very quickly so make sure whatever you get is quite fresh.

            1. Thanks - for this one time on the corn I approximated with mostly paprika and a bit of ancho chile and cayenne - it wasn't the same but tasted great at much lower cost (we had all of those and it's $20 at Formaggio - too much for one dish)