Wild Forest Pepper, Vietnam
£4.20 – £11.50
This rare and delicious pepper grows in the far Northwest of Vietnam, and is handpicked from tall prickly ash trees by the local people who live in the forests. It is then roasted in large metal pans over wood fires. Its flavour is similar to Szechuan peppercorns although not so potent, without so much of the mouth-numbing notes which are the calling card of Szechuan pepper. It has a distinctive citrus character, with warm and woody tones. It works really well when used to season Asian style green vegetables such as kai lan or choi sum, and also in any dish which needs an exotic citrus boost – try adding a good grind to lentil soup, for example. Also it makes a great addition to a Chinese 5 spice blend, and makes a natural partner to ginger or star anise.