The Espelette pepper (French: Piment d’Espelette; Basque: Ezpeletako biperra) is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette,Traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people. The plant, originally from Mexico and to a lesser extent South America, was introduced into France from the New World during the 16th century. After first being used medicinally, it subsequently became popular for preparing condiments and for the conservation of meat and ham. It is now a cornerstone of Basque cuisine, where it has gradually replaced black pepper and it is a key ingredient in piperade. It is harvested in late summer and, in September, characteristic festoons of pepper are hung on balconies and house walls throughout the communes to dry out. An annual pepper festival, attracting some 20,000 tourists, is held in October. This pepper registers 4,000 on the Scoville scale and therefore is considered to be a mild chili. The price is for a half ounce jar.