Piquillo pimientos are to peppers what Parmigiano-Reggiano is to cheese: the undisputed sovereign. However, beware. There are many versions on shelves these days, and most are nowhere near as flavorful as these. For example, some aren't smoked; these are. Some taste watery; these don't.
Lay these deep, rose-red peppers on a white plate in a pool of gorgeous Alziari olive oil, and you’ll have an hors d’oeuvre as luscious to look at as it is to eat. While we have many great foods, I still stand by my decade-long advice: if you've never tried these before, do so soon.
Piquillo peppers are packed in their own juices, nothing else. Upon opening, top them off with olive oil and store in your refrigerator. They will last a couple months.
Zingerman's Food Tours is visiting Spain in October 2014. Join us for a behind the scenes journey to traditional food makers like this.