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Cooking + Entertaining

Cruschi peppers: the typical Lucanian recipe of crunchy peppers

Cruschi peppers: the typical Lucanian recipe of crunchy peppers


Extra virgin olive oil

I cruschi peppers, that is crunchy, are a recipe belonging to the Lucanian gastronomic tradition. It is a particular quality of sweet peppers with low water content, typical of So far, municipality of Basilicata, which in 1996 obtained the recognition of the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) mark. In summer they are collected, threaded with needle and thread, thus creating a sort of necklaces, and then exposed to the sun to dry the peppers. Once dried, the peppers can be fried in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, being careful not to burn them, until they become crisp and golden.

You can taste them like delicious side dish of any main course of meat or fish, to season pasta or to crumble on bruschetta of bread. They can accompany boiled vegetables, potatoes cooked in a pan, cod, as the Lucanian custom dictates, but they are so tasty that they can also become a finger food to offer at aperitif time. They have a distinctive flavor and remain crunchy even after cooking, making it difficult to stop eating them. As soon as they are prepared, they can also be frozen and used as needed.

Find out how to make Cruschi peppers by following the step by step procedure and advice. Also try the pasta with cruschi peppers and Lucana-style lamb.

How to make cruschi peppers

Get the dried peppers 1.

Clean the dried peppers with a dry cloth 2.

Cut off the stem 3.

Eliminate the seeds by lightly beating the pepper on the cutting board: they will come out more easily 4.

Divide the peppers in half 5.

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a pan 6.

When the oil is hot, add the peppers 7.

Flip the peppers so that they become evenly crisp 8. The cruschi peppers cook in just 2 minutes.

Drain the raw peppers 9.

Serve the cruschi peppers in a small bowl 10.

Origin and history

Cruschi peppers, or Senise peppers, have ancient origins and, even if they are part of the Lucanian culinary tradition, they actually come from Antilles. These peppers, whose original name is Potatoes (family of Solonacee), arrived in Europe at the end of the sixteenth century thanks to Christopher Columbus: according to legend, the ship’s doctor had kept, inside one of the caravels, large quantities of these particular sweet peppers, of which he discovered not only the medical properties , but also gastronomic. Another legend tells that the spread in Italy took place, again in the sixteenth century, thanks to the Aragonese who imported them from the Spanish colonies in the Antilles: at the time Basilicata belonged to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.


Cruschi peppers are kept crunchy for one day in an airtight container, away from humidity.

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