The unusual properties of timut pepper are a reminder of its origins. This Nepalese variety of Sichuan pepper is not botanically related to black pepper (Piper nigrum) but belongs to the genus Zanthoxylum, which is part of the rue or citrus family (Rutaceae). Even the bark and leaves give off a delightful lemony aroma.
The Nepalese timut pepper grows wild as a shrub or small tree with dense foliage and thorns up to two centimetres long that present an extra hazard when harvesting the berries. It is found in the mountains of Nepal at altitudes above 2,000 metres. The spring blossom is followed by the formation of red berries containing shiny black seeds. In the autumn the ripe berries of the chemically untreated plants are harvested by hand.
Harvesting, however, is just the first in a series of labour-intensive processes. Working by hand, the pickers carefully separate the harvested berries from other plant parts such as stalks and leaves. The berries must then be dried completely. This is very important for further processing, which involves separating the small, round, black seeds – which taste bitter – from their shells. Only the shells are used as a spice.
Because it has been particularly thoroughly sorted, the timut pepper in the FINEST FOOD AGE PEPPER COLLECTION is guaranteed to provide a first-class taste experience without any bitter notes. This timut pepper is a hand-picked, sun-dried and entirely natural premium product.
Production of timut pepper is important to the developing Nepalese economy: growing and processing this special and internationally valued spice promotes the development of local resources for the benefit of future generations in Nepal.
The timut pepper in the FINEST FOOD AGE PEPPER COLLECTION can be not only tasted but felt! It contains a chemical compound (sanshool) that produces a slightly numbing sensation in the mouth. Scientists have only recently discovered the reason for this tingling – the sensory nerves in the mouth react to the timut pepper as they would to mechanical irritation. The special chemistry of this fascinating spice also affects how other flavours are perceived.
The timut pepper in the FINEST FOOD AGE PEPPER COLLECTION is an adventure in itself – it approaches with the lightness of a feather, homes in with its sensationally fresh scent of citrus fruits and then takes off with a tingling prickle on the tongue. In the grinder, timut pepper develops its full power: freshly ground, its intriguingly spicy citrus flavour and dynamic sharpness never fail to make an impact.
In Nepalese cooking timut pepper is used mainly in curries and pickles. It adds a real punch to a spicy chicken marinade. Timut pepper blends harmoniously with the flavours of green vegetables. It also goes very well with seafood and all types of fish. Try adding timut pepper to a little melted butter and putting it on boiled potatoes: a real delicacy that is easy to make and bound to impress.
With its unmistakeable citrus flavour, timut pepper goes perfectly with fruit, desserts and chocolate.
To ensure protection from harmful environmental influences, the timut pepper in the FINEST FOOD AGE PEPPER COLLECTION is supplied in high-quality violet glass jars. Keeping this special jar tightly closed will ensure that the timut pepper always has the dry and dark storage conditions that it needs.