In Lucania, the locals refer to these spicy, aromatic peppers as cruschi and add them to all manner of dishes, as well as enjoying them as an appetizer, much like toasted nuts. Cruschi peppers are harvested during the peak hot months of summer—from the end of July until the end of September—when they are at the perfect stage of ripeness, hanging heavy on the plant, and taking on a deep red color with a glossy finish to the skin.

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