Fans of piquillo peppers take note: cristal peppers may blow your mind.
Cristal peppers are exceedingly rare, delicate and filled with so much flavor you’ll think they were injected with something. When roasted, the paper-thin flesh is scraped off with tiny knives. Six ounces of roasted peppers starts out as one kilo of raw peppers. I haven't seen the process, but my bet is that’s a lot of scraping.
Smoky, velvety rich and decadently buttery. Eat them straight from the jar, warmed, with a touch of sea salt and a bit of good olive oil. A loaf of paesano on the side wouldn't hurt. Zingerman's founder Ari calls them the "foie gras of the pepper world." I think they're the best pepper I’ve ever eaten. I think we’re both right.