trecase, campania, italia
Papaccella Napoletana (Capsicum annuum) is a pepper, with rounded berries flattened at the poles with the presence of longitudinal ribs, they are ripe when they are yellow or red or green color. The fruit of variable size with a diameter ranging from 8-10 cm, has a crunchy, firm, sweet and fragrant pulp. The scent is particularly intense, with fresh and herbaceous notes. The sweetness of the pulp is the peculiar element that distinguishes the Papaccella from other varieties of similar appearance but with a decidedly spicy taste.
Sowing can be carried out from the second half of March to the first ten days of July, while the harvest, done by hand, takes place from the second half of June to the beginning of November.
The gardens where the Papaccella (the parule) was grown were in particular in the area of Brusciano, next to Vesuvio, where many inhabitants have the surname “Papaccio”. The crops were located near farms that produced the vinegar necessary for conservation: the vinegar was usually obtained from the so-called piccirillo wine, a red wine obtained from vines planted with trees “alberata” (wines are left to climb trees grown up in line with the vines), sour and low in alcohol, to be consumed immediately after the harvest. The ciutunaro, so in dialect the person who produced the preserves was called, took care of dipping peppers and other garden products in vinegar inside the so-called rancelloni, a sort of wooden barrels that could contain up to 150 kilos of whole Papaccelle, never fillets.
The Campania Region has recovered the germplasm and in an experimental field has reproduced the original seeds which are planted every year by the Presidium producers. A strict disciplinary has been drawn up that guarantees a high quality production, with real characteristics of eco-sustainability and eco-compatibility. Thanks to the activity of the six Presidium gardeners, the Papaccella has returned to the Neapolitan markets and it is possible to find again the traditional ones preserved in vinegar or in oil. The support of the municipality of Pomigliano D’Arco was significant for the presence of the Presidium at this new edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto.
Papaccelle are one of the most representative traditional vegetables of Neapolitan gastronomy, in fact, the Neapolitan Papaccella is famous in its pickled version, which makes it available all year round. Then there are the papaccelle ‘mbuttunate which are a variant of the recipe for Neapolitan stuffed peppers. They are also used in the famous ‘nzalata ‘e rinforzo, a typical dish of the Christmas period. A curiosity concerns a Neapolitan saying, which originates from the shape of this pepper: “a papaccella nose” is used to refer to a person with a red nose.
Papaccelle roasted in oil
Papaccelle in vinegar
“Sweet and sour” papaccelle
Azienda Agricola Vincenzo Egizio, Brusciano (Na)
Bruno Sodano, Pomigliano d’Arco (Na)
Annamaria Taliento, Nola (Na)
Eccellenze Nolane, Nola (Na), www.eccellenzenolane.it
Luigi Turboli, Brusciano (Na)