Peppers are a characterising feature in the gastronomic tradition of Basilicata. The Geographical Typical Indication of the Senise Pepper is reserved to three small kinds of pepper: pointed, trunk like and hooked.
The berry, green or purple-red, has a sweet taste and is 10-15 centimetres long. The cultivated area – around 20-25 hectares – produces about 300 tons of peppers.
The harvest, once a year, starts in August, when the berry ripens to its typical purple-red colour. The fruit of the pepper plant from Senise has a thin strip and a low water content that allow quick drying with natural methods.
The peppers are arranged on cloths or nets, in dry and well-aired places, for at least two or three days, far from the light. Then the footstalks are stringed with a thin rope, forming laces or ‘serte’ that are exposed to the sun until the water content lowers to 10-12 percent.