The Espelette pepper is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.
On 1st June 2000, it was classified as an AOC product and was confirmed as an APO product on 22 August 2002.
Chili pepper, originating in Central and South America, was introduced into France during the 16th century. After first being used medicinally, it became popular as a condiment and for the conservation of meats. It is now a cornerstone of French Southwestern cuisine, where it has gradually replaced black pepper and became a key ingredient in many dishes.