THE Alicante Association of Chefs and Bakers has mounted a campaign to obtain denomination of origin status for the ñora, the small, rotund red pepper that is so commonly used in local gastronomy throughout the Valencian Region.
A cultivated variety of the species Capsicum annuum, which has been bred to produce everything from bell to chili peppers, the ñora is grown on a bed of sand before being sun-dried for 20-25 days, which gives it a distinctive aroma and taste.
Production has been declining in recent years, however, and only around a dozen dedicated producers remain.
Chefs from Torrevieja, Benidorm and Alicante have teamed up for the initiative, since they believe that the ñora deserves greater recognition.
The group say that the pepper is “extremely versatile and offers differentiating elements,” as well as being highly versatile and used in everything from rice dishes to ice cream.