Pimiento de Fresno-Benavente PGI
Fruit of the capsicum plant Capsicum annuum L. intended for fresh consumption (non-processed), of the “de Fresno” ecotype or local variety, obtained from a selection of the “morro de vaca” or “morrón” type of pepper.
They are large, red peppers, with thick flesh, more than 8 mm / 0.3 inchs in thickness. The juiciness of the fruit and softness of the skin are readily appreciated in the mouth. The flavor is medium sweet, with little bitterness and no spiciness. Little skin remains in the mouth after chewing and swallowing.
The ripe fruit has the following characteristics:
- Shape of the fruit: Rectangular, nearly square, with greater length than width.
- Minimum width: 10 cm / 3.9 inches
- Color of the fruit: Red.
- Shape of apex: Deeply depressed.
- Thickness of the flesh: Over 8 millimeters / 0.3 inchs
- Number of lobes: 3, 4 or 5.
- Moisture content: Greater than 90%.
- Unit weight of fruit: Greater than 300g / 0.6 lb.
Production / Processing method
The peppers are grown in plots registered with the Regulatory Council. These plots must have soil with over 15% clay content, less than 33% silt content and less than 2.1% organic material content.
The plants belong to the “de Fresno” ecotype. Planting density is up to 85,000 plants per hectare. The peppers may not be grown on the same plot for two consecutive years.
The peppers are harvested in various stages, with the fruit meeting the requisite quality standards being selected at each stage. The fruit must be handled with care at all times to prevent physical damage, and peppers many not be stacked in piles of over 1 meter in height. From the time of harvest the peppers must be sheltered from the sun in a cool or well-ventilated place and kept strictly away from any materials likely to contaminate them, such as phytosanitary products and fuels.
At the packaging plants the peppers undergo the following processes in the following order:
-Raw material quality control
-Cleaning and removing foreign bodies and material that may have become mixed up with the peppers.
-Selection of peppers to safeguard compliance with applicable standards and regulations.
-Packaging: the product is placed in appropriate closed packaging. Each pack must contain up 30 peppers arranged in one or two layers on top of one another.
-Final quality control to ensure that the product complies with applicable tolerance thresholds and that the packaging is not faulty.
-Commercial labels are affixed according to the content of current legislation and of the identifying secondary labels issued by the Regulatory Council.
Geography / Relief and climate
The production area is situated on a plateau in a large basin of sedimentary tertiary materials occupying the interior region of Spain. It is an elevated platform (at an altitude of between 700 and 1,000 m / 2,296 and 3,280 ft ) slightly sloping towards the south and crisscrossed north-south by a dense network of water courses. Topographically, the relief is practically horizontal, consisting of floodplains with gentle undulations broken only by a succession of terraces and watersheds, in some cases with closed basin lagoons, confirming the absence of hilly terrain.
The geographic area of the Pimiento de Fresno-Benavente PGI is quite wide and encompasses the area of influence of two watercourses, those of the Esla and Tera rivers. The predominant climate is Mediterranean in its cold variant. The influx of air from the Atlantic and from the north might be expected to cool temperatures down and produce abundant rain, but the combined effect of the plateau’s high altitude and the surrounding mountainous regions of the Cantabrian cordillera alter the climate, producing a strongly Continental type of weather, the predominant features of which are: a long and hard winter with persistent fog and frost, although absolute minimum temperatures in the coldest months never drop to below -15ºC / -59ºF . An uneven spring season, with mild temperatures alternating with the much-feared spring frosts. An uneven summer season, alternating hot, dry periods with cold spells, with average temperatures in the warmer months remaining above 20ºC / 68º F .
A mild and generally rainy autumn season. Average annual rainfall is around 500mm, spread over the summer and autumn. The area has plenty of sunlight, with an average of 2,700 hours of sunshine per year.
Consejo Regulador de la IGP Pimiento Fresno-Benavente
C/ Muelle de la Estación, s/n
24223 Fresno de la Vega (León)
T: (+ 34) 987 770 296 / 659 967 300
- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
- Regulatory Council, Pimiento Fresno-Benavente PGI
The flavor is medium sweet, with little bitterness and no spiciness.