Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO is a fresh pepper belonging to the Capsicum annum L. species, deriving from the local Cornetto di Pontecorvo ecotype.
The production area of Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO is within the Municipality of Pontecorvo and parts of the municipalities of Esperia, S. Giorgio a Liri, Pignataro Interamna, Villa S. Lucia, Piedimonte S. Germano, Aquino, Castrocielo, Roccasecca and San Giovanni Incarico in the Province of Frosinone, in the Lazio region.
The seeds are selected from the best plants and sowed in seed beds from mid-February to mid- April. They are planted in open fields or sheltered places 30-50 days after germination. If planted in sheltered areas, the cover has to be removed before May 31st of each year. The ground must follow a precise crop rotation, which determines that Cornetto di Pontecorvo peppers or other solanaceous plants can only be cultivated in the same ground every four years. Harvesting takes place by hand in the period between July and November. Harvesting and storing must be carried out carefully, with particular attention to avoid skin frictions or breaks. The harvested peppers must not be exposed to the sun.
Appearance and Flavour
Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO is cylindrical-conic in shape, trefoil, and with a length of up to and over 18 cm. The weight and length vary depending on the selection. 1st choice fruit weigh between 100 to 150 g and are between 14 to 18 cm long; Extra fruit weigh over 150 g and are over 18 cm long. It is red in colour, with occasional green hues that must not cover more than 40% of its total surface. The cuticle and flesh are thin and the flavour is sweet.
The pepper has existed in the Pontecorvo area for centuries. Its cultivation is confirmed by many documents, some of which date back to 1830, 1873 and 1882. A strong drive on production was given by the Consorzio Agrario, founded in 1889; the activity of this Consortium has contributed to a substantial increase in the dedicated areas over the last few decades. Always considered “a pleasurable food”, it was subject to the attention of farmers in the Ciociaria region, who passed down their knowledge on how to grow the best Cornetto pepper from generation to generation.
Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO can be kept for up to ten days if it is conserved in the fridge at the correct temperature. It is an extremely sought-after ingredient and can be used as both a basic ingredient or in the preparation of more sophisticated dishes. Thinly sliced it is perfect in fresh salads. It is delicious eaten in its natural state, as well as preserved in oil, or served with charcuterie and cheeses; it is also ideal as a side dish for meat-based dishes and is perfect for grilling. In the local cuisine it is often served with chicken, oven-roasted or pan-fried, and with pan-cooked pork.
The product is marketed as Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO and is available between July and November. It is sold in packets of 200 g and in cardboard wooden or plastic boxes weighing between 1 and 10 kg. The content of each confection must be uniform and contain exclusively peppers of the same commercial category, colour and size. Each pepper can be protected by paper or other suitable material. The consented commercial categories are Extra and First. It is also available on the market as a transformed product based on Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO: sliced and seasoned peppers, sold in glass jars.
Peperone di Pontecorvo PDO is distinguished by its high digestibility, which is due to the very thin skin and dainty flesh; the result of a long and attentive selection of plants, carried out by expert farmers for centuries.