Szechuan Peppercorns, Coarse Ground (Sichuan)
An intriguing, red-cloaked figure in the spice world. Mysterious, perhaps, but it makes for the best homemade pickles and cured meats.
Szechuan 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.
Szechuan peppercorns are a main ingredient in Chinese Five-Spice, and are often used alongside ingredients such as chile peppers, star anise, onion, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, tangerine peel, and cinnamon in Sichuan cuisine. The ground peppers are perfect in a rub over duck, added to garlic-laden stir-fries, or added to crock pots for braised or stewed meats. If you make your own bacon then nothing is better than rubbing a slab of pork belly with ground Szechuan peppercorns.
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.
Coarsely ground, this is best used for stews and soups. It also works well in homemade cured meats and for giving pickles a curiously new zing.
|Recommended Applications||The Szechuan 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||Ready to add to any recipe as directed, as no preparation is required.|
|Cuisine||Caribbean, European, Indian, Italian, Mexican|
|Product Style||Coarse Cut|
|Taste & Aroma||Hot|
|Shelf Life||3 years|
|Handling / Storage||Store in a cool, dry place.|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, Non-GMO|
|Allergen Information||None Specified|