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Chilli pepper – Maremma box

Learn more about the chilli pepper that is part of the Maremma Box.


We are in the middle of the Maremma countryside, in the Ombrone valley. We follow a dirt road past a small cluster of houses until we are in front of the Monastery of Siloe.

Waiting for us is Friar Flavio, one of the monks of the Benedictine community, who answers all our curiosities about this monastery totally immersed in nature. The lighting is provided by photovoltaic panels. While the water is heated by burning the olive kernels, present in great numbers thanks to the many olive groves all around.

One of the main aims of the foundation that financed the construction of the monastery was to create a country farm. The aim is to respect the environment and recover some crops that have been abandoned or lost due to the constant migration from the countryside to the city since the 1960s.

‘The colours of Siloe’: the chilli of the Maremma

The flagship of the various cultivations is the chilli pepper. Right where you can enjoy the best view of the valley, there is the peperonaia, tended with great punctuality by the monks themselves. Numerous varieties of chillies are cultivated, sprouting among plants that can exceed two metres in height. They range from the classic red colour of chillies to light green, from yellow to bottle green.

In fact, ‘The Colours of Siloe‘ is the name of the product that combines the chilli varieties. Why Siloe? In the Old Testament, there is mention of the Pool of Siloe, which, thanks to a channel dug into the rock, ensured the water supply to Jerusalem even during sieges. This water was therefore believed to be a sign of divine protection over the city.

As chance would have it, this monastic community moved to the Maremma thanks to a donation of a farm called ‘Le Pescine’ precisely because of the presence of a water source on site.

Through the irrigation system, water is the main nutrient for the chilli plants, which are harvested by hand and then dried. This is followed by grinding and the last stage of production, chopping.

It is an excellent product for seasoning dishes. It can also be used in good quantities, since in this combination a hotter type of chilli is offset by a less intense one.

So… all that remains is to taste!