Indian Long Pepper: The Gourmet Spice You've Never Heard of
What is Indian Long Pepper?
Here's how the experts at The Spice House describe long pepper's taste:
We might choose to describe this variation of pepper as spicier than black peppercorns. We don't mean hotter, rather, with more spice overtones. While you will get the heat and earthiness you get from black pepper, you will also detect hints of some of the spices we think of as baking spices; nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger [...] Earthy, heat, a hint of sweetness, with a lingering cooling, makes this a very interesting spice to play with.
Red Pepper or Black Pepper?
How to Cook with Long Pepper & Recipes
Long pepper comes in four forms: Dried, fresh, milled, or seed. Here is a short description of each form and a delicious recipe to go with it.
Whole Dried Long Pepper Spikes
Whole, dried long pepper spikes can be used in marinades, stews and roasts. Put them in vegetable pickles (fresh or dried). Use them in soups the same way you might use a bay leaf. You can also steep them in tea with honey. Yum!
A food processor or coffee grinder can be used to grind whole catkins into ground pepper. Break up the spikes into several pieces before grinding.
Khmer Curry Recipe: We use ground long pepper in our curries. However, you could just as easily steep whole or broken pepper spikes instead. Curry recipe video here!
Whole Fresh Long Pepper Spikes
Organic fresh pepper spikes are a special treat if you can find them.
Our favorite way to eat fresh long pepper involves pureeing them for inclusion in sauces, dips and dressings.
Long Pepper "Tapenade" Recipe: Our twist on this fancy spread starts by pureeing fresh green long pepper with lime juice. Add minced garlic, sea salt, and olive oil. You can stop there or you can experiment with the many other ingredients used in normal tapenade. Have fun!
Ground Long Pepper
Long pepper can be ground into a fine powder or a coarser form as seen in the picture. Put it in a pepper shaker and apply it liberally to burgers, steaks, burritos, vegetables, curries, salads, etc. It can be used as an alternative to black pepper in any dish, especially if you need a flavor slightly more welcoming than the typical sting of regular pepper. Use some at your next barbecue!
Long Pepper Pork Ribs: Ground long pepper is the perfect stand-alone dry rub for meats.
Long Pepper Seeds (Grains)
We saved the best for last. Our favorite way to use long pepper is by separating the seeds from the flesh. Seeds and flesh taste the same. However, intact pepper seeds offer a more attractive presentation. Plus they give you a little "crunch" with every bite.
Whole long pepper seeds work with almost anything. They can be added before or after cooking.
Strawberry Fennel Salad: You can use our new pepper mills for this creative long pepper recipe from the Spice House.
Where to Buy Long Pepper
Long pepper is a rare spice and the price reflects that reality. Our market research obtained the long pepper retail prices from 18 spice retailers in Paris. The average price of long pepper at those French shops? Over $150 per kilo!
Don't worry, there are lots of affordable options. Choose one of two methods: surf or turf!
If you prefer to 'surf' then you can check all the popular web-based marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, Alibaba, Ali Express, & Amazon.
If you prefer to 'turf' then some planning may be required. Start with Indian grocery stores as they are the best bet to have the product in stock. Your local supermarket may have it stocked on its shelves, too. Organic stores, health food stores & spice shops are likely to carry it, and they'll be happy to check if you call them in advance. Last but not least is the delicatessen (épicerie fine), the holy grail retailers of specialty spices and fine foods. Check your local business directory to discover if there are any near you.
If you find a place that doesn't carry long pepper and you think it should, be sure to refer them to Kiri Farms! We love sharing our products with the world.
Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoy a few fun pictures from our pepper farm
Do you know a better way to use long pepper? Tell us in the comments below.
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