Fire-roasted and hand-peeled Pimientos de Cristal are amazingly delicate premium peppers from Lodosa. They are smaller and thinner than piquillos.
Because they are very fragile (hence their name "crystal"), they are highly coveted and very scarce. El Navarrico, dedicated to preserving the tradition of the region, is one of the few sources in Spain that still roasts and bottles a few of them. For the gourmet cook, they are the ultimate peppers from Navarre and La Rioja.
We tried them at a café in Lodosa, where the slivers of Crystal peppers were warmed nicely and stacked on a plate in the center of our table. They didn't last long!
Cristal Peppers have a sweet flavor with a tangy finish. They have a more delicate flavor than Piquillo peppers, but are just as full of smoky, roasted complexity. Serve warm, drizzled with olive oil alongside a loaf of crusty bread.