Sichuan Peppercorns (Szechuan)
Coming in shades from brick to burgundy to pink, the Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorn is used throughout Asia. Unlike other peppercorns the flavor isn’t spicy, but rather citric; and instead of heat, it incites a tingly numbness.
Sichuan peppercorns do not produce a heat sensation like black or white pepper. Instead, the flavor is citric and it produces a tingly numbing sensation that is akin to touching your tongue to a battery or the fizziness from soda. So why eat it? Like a chile pepper, in certain amounts the sensation can be quite pleasing and causes the release of endorphins in the brain, which make you feel pleasure. Use ‘em once and you’ll be hooked forever.
Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns are a main ingredient in Five-Spice Powder and are often used alongside ingredients such as chile peppers, star anise, onion, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, tangerine peel, and cinnamon in Sichuan cuisine. Toast and grind the peppers and use them in a rub over duck, with garlic in stir fries, or add to crock pots for braised or stewed meats.
For years, this particular pericarp was banned from import into the United States because the peppercorns could carry citrus canker bacteria and infect citrus trees throughout the country. The ban was lifted in 2005 with the condition that all peppercorns be roasted at 158F to kill the bacteria.
|Recommended Applications||The Sichuan Peppercorn has a strong aroma profile. The combination of the earthy and citrus aroma make it great to use in Asian Cuisine, or used with baked chicken, risotto, potato dishes, steak, popcorn, or soups.|
|Basic Preparation||Any spice is best to use promptly after it has just been ground. Another way to add the whole peppercorn flavoring is to place them in a cheese cloth bag and let simmer in a stew or soup, remove the bag before serving. Also notable, pepper looses its flavoring during extended cooing periods, so it is best to add towards the end of cooking.|
|Cuisine||Asian, Chinese, European|
|Taste & Aroma||Citrus|
|Shelf Life||3 years|
|Handling / Storage||Store in a cool, dry place.|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Allergen Information||None Specified|