Espelette is famous for the piment d’Espelette (Espelette pepper), which are set out to dry over doors, windows, and basically all over this little town. We made a stop in the village for some aperitif involving beer and ardi gasna (which means “sheep’s cheese” in Basque) with cherry preserves.
Like Saint Jean Pied de Port, Espelette can get pretty crowded with tourists during the summer thanks to a popular outdoor market, boutiques selling local goods, and a handful of restaurants serving up traditional Basque meals. Yet when we were wandering around the town, it was pretty empty.
A shop that I make a habit of visiting every time I stop in Espelette is Chocolaterie Antton, which has countless varieties of chocolate but they are known for incorporating some piment d’Espelette into many of their chocolates. The result is a rich chocolatey treat that has an unexpected punch of heat at the end of every bite – so addicting!