Peperoni di Senise are a cornerstone of Basilicata's rustic, satisfying cuisine. Fresh, they're often sliced and added to sauces, stuffed with meat or local wheat berries, or grilled and preserved in oil. More often, the peppers are hung on long ropes and left to dry in the sun, which further concentrates their taste. Called peperoni secchi, these dried peppers lend sweet, smoky notes to soups, potato dishes, and frittatas. Cooks also pound the peperoni secchi in a mortar to extract their seeds, which are used as a spice. The dried peppers can also be pulverized into a sweet, paprika-like powder that's known locally as zafarano (saffron). Although zafarano is added to breads, soups, grilled meats, and vegetable dishes, it is primarily used as a seasoning and preservative for the region's famed pork sausages and hams. In one of its most delicious incarnations, the dried pepper is fried in olive oil to make peperoni cruschi, a brittle, salty, flavorful ingredient that's tossed with pasta and bread crumbs to make the region's signature dish. On their own, peperoni cruschi are Basilicata's most addictive bar snacks, perfect alongside a glass of earthy aglianico wine.