Sichuan pepper: Oriental expression
Sichuan pepper is made as a berry from the prickly ash tree. Technically it’s not peppercorn and it tastes distinctly different from most other peppercorns. It features a tingling numbness and a distinctly lemon-like flavor and is highly recommended as a spice. Especially in Asian cuisine, Chinese pepper is a widely used spice. When used sparingly, it gives a mild heat. It goes well with duck, fish and seafood, making it a very versatile spice. It has a unique numbness when tasted, and the aroma is very impressive.
Sichuan peppercorns are widely used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It is usually air-dried and the shells crack and you can see black berries inside. They are usually roasted to increase the release of flavor when crushed. The shell is the part that is consumed, and the blackberries are considered to be grainy and sandy. Pepper nuts usually have fine, spike-like hair.
The various names that come from Sichuan Peppercorn are interesting trivia. In China itself, it is called by more than 15 names such as Chinese pepper and Japanese pepper. In Japan, it is called Sansho and in Tibet it is called Yerima. Pepper nuts usually have fine, spike-like hair.
It is a staple of northeastern India and Tibetan cuisine. In Tibet, it is used as a spice for a popular dumpling called peach. In China, it is a component of the famous five-spice powder. While in India, it is used in Ayurveda to cure many illnesses, in addition to being used to heat certain dishes. Sichuan peppercorn is mistakenly assumed to be able to disinfect fresh meat. In reality, it only helps to hide the stench and taste. This property of masking makes it ideal for cooking exotic dishes such as offal.
In the United States, Sichuan pepper is called by the same vibrant name as the American prickly ash and fatal. But the most interesting name given to this spice is “current Mirch”. It is so-called by the locals of India in relation to the tingling sensations and heat of electricity that they experience when tasting it. Electric current refers to the sense of electricity. Mirch is a word used to describe chili peppers in Hindi and its derivatives.
Pepper, the world’s most widely used and traded spice, has a history as exciting and spicy as its flavor. The country was discovered, conquered, wars were fought, treaties were signed, and the entire population was conquered in search of the spice of this black art. In medieval Europe, pepper was so important that it was also used as a currency.
In the Middle Ages, pepper-like spices were used to enhance meat preservation, but it was not the only preservative used. The mild yet aromatic taste of pepper was loved by civilizations from ancient Greece, Rome and China to modern America and Asia. There are many different varieties and cultivars originating from the Malabar Coast and Sarawak in India, which are highly regarded for their unique flavor and color.