Peperoni cruschi, also known as cruschi peppers, are a specialty of the Basilicata region in southern Italy. These dried peppers are a staple ingredient in the local cuisine and are used to add a unique flavor and texture to many dishes. They are particularly popular in the towns of Senise, Ferrandina, and Matera.

Peperoni cruschi can be found in many local shops and markets in these towns, including La Bottega del Peperoncino in Senise and La Bottega del Gusto in Matera. They can also be purchased online from various Italian specialty food retailers.

One popular way to use peperoni cruschi is to fry them in olive oil until they become crispy and then sprinkle them over pasta dishes or salads. Another Traditional Recipess is to use them in a sauce for orecchiette pasta, along with garlic, anchovies, and tomatoes.

Peperoni cruschi have been recognized as a PAT (Traditional Agri-Food Product) by the Italian government, which means they must meet certain specifications to be considered authentic. These specifications include being grown and processed in the Basilicata region, being dried naturally in the sun, and having a specific level of spiciness.

Sources:
– “Peperoni Cruschi: The Secret Ingredient of Basilicata’s Cuisine.” Italy Magazine. https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/peperoni-cruschi-secret-ingredient-basilicatas-cuisine
– “Peperoni Cruschi: The Dried Peppers of Basilicata.” Walks of Italy. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/food-and-wine/peperoni-cruschi-dried-peppers-basilicata
– “Peperoni Cruschi.” Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/peperoni-cruschi/