Zero Branco Pepper
If someone ask you to identify the vegetable that contains the most vitamin C, would you know that the right answer is "pepper"?
And yet it's true: this real natural anti-oxidant contains in each 100g 150 mg of this precious vitamin – three times as much as the orange!
In the marchlands around Treviso, in Zero Branco, the richness of water and the particular climatic conditions are propitious for the growth of this seed which has caught on and is thriving in the environment, producing a rather singular type of pepper that is fleshy, characterized by a bright yellow colour and its sweet flavor without being hot.
The plants are bedded out in late spring and nourished with strictly organic fertilizers and water. Ripening occurs after about three months and the fruits are separated from the plants cutting the stalk by hand. The quality of the Zero Branco pepper is measured by taking into consideration five parameters: 1) the consistency of the fruit; 2) the thickness of the flesh; 3) the brilliant yellow colour; 4) the regularity of the shape; 5) the sweet aromatic flavour.
Peppers can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen: raw in salads, cooked in the pan, stuffed or pickled in vinegar. They can also be utilized in the preparation of starters, side-dishes, salads, first course and second courses based on meat or fish.
The pepper has now been on our tables for about five hundred years and is celebrated towards the end of the summer, between the end of August and the beginning of September, when Zero Branco dresses up in preparation for the famous annual Zero Branco Pepper Festival which is on the eno-gastronomical calendar of events named "Delizie d'Autunno", or Autumnal Delights.
Photo: Marc de Tollenaere