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By: Abbott Adison

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Saturday, 25-May-2013 06:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Szechuan Peppercorn – Experience the Difference

Some might be surprised to note that there are pepper lovers who are as much passionate about their spice just as there are food lovers. And they would all want to have their own passions alongside their cuisine just as they set out on a binge, satiating their palates to perfection. And at the top of the list among the group of pepper enthusiasts who would just not be having enough of their favourite spice would be Szechuan peppercorn.

Szechuan peppercorn, also known with alternate names such as Sichuan pepper or Szechwan pepper, tend to dominate the industry that they are in, considering the fact that they are among the most common among peppers typically used in Asian cuisine. One of the characteristic features of Szechuan peppercorn as against its other common peer, black peppercorn, is that the former tends to be less spicy than the black one – this milder version that is less pungent is also associated with a unique aroma that the fans of these tiny species would vouch for.

Szechuan peppercorn is better known for its lemony flavour and its unique tingling sensation that it creates in the mouth; some people associate the unique flavour with a feeling of numbness as well. You could think of it as the feel that you would have in your mouth after you have had a dash of your favourite carbonated drink.

Szechuan peppercorn is often used in association with its counterpart in Asian cuisine, chile peppers. While chile peppers tend to be hot and set you on fire, culinary experts were happy to marry the two kinds of pepper off, considering the fact that the numbing sensation caused by Szechuan peppers would act as a countervailing effect on the fiery sensation created by the other partner in cuisine.

Most of the recipes that feature Szechuan peppercorn would want the berries to be roasted after they have been ground. While some would associate the tingling sensation to a flavour that resembles that of lavender, some would be left relishing on the resinous taste that lingers on well after they have tasted the tantalising cuisine featuring these berries. If you love cloves, you could hope to have an amazing experience out of Szechuan peppercorn – if at all, you could expect them to be a shade or two hotter. You may want to add these unique flavours to your favourite soups or sauces and experience the difference yourself.

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Thursday, 23-May-2013 07:36 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Malabar Peppercorn – Fresh and Strong

Black pepper is among the most commonly used spices in Asian cuisine, one that would go well with many a culinary experiment. And one of the most widely used, and the most sought after peppercorns among the numerous varieties of black peppercorn is the Malabar peppercorn. To be sure, there are many reasons why the Malabar peppercorn is considered to be one of the best in the business – and not the least of them all is the fact that Malabar peppercorn has its origins in some of the most fertile terrains in India.

Pepper in itself has been found in abundance in India, reason enough for the British colonies of the early years to have established their foothold in the subcontinent with the East India Company. Of course, pepper and its business, along with the associated spices, has come a long way ever since, what with there being numerous brands and kinds of pepper that have come to flood the market. From the uniquely tingling Szechuan peppercorn to the milder variety of Lampong black peppercorn from Indonesia with its unique fragrance, and Madagascar peppercorns that are good for meat, and the ones that differ in terms of the way they are processed before they get to the market, as in the case of the ones that are air-dried, freeze-dried, or marinated in brine, there is no dearth of quality peppercorns.

However, despite the years of their having been traded in business, and despite the numerous brands and innumerable varieties of peppercorns, Malabar peppercorns have still managed to maintain their leadership on the rest of the species. Some of the characteristic features of Malabar peppercorns include their pungent aroma and their rich fragrance with mixed traces of cedar and the berries.

But the richness and freshness associated with Malabar peppercorn is what this variety is the most widely noted for. In terms of size, this variety of peppercorn is neither too big to handle, nor so small that you could miss it. And in line with its medium size, Malabar peppercorn also tends to be widely used, what with its versatility coming into force in its use on a wide range of cuisine. If you are a fan of some of the more strongly flavoured dishes that relish your palates, or if you would want your guests to store the memories of some of the freshest spices ever, you would not want to give Malabar peppercorn a miss.

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Monday, 20-May-2013 07:52 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Peppercorns – Your Spicy Companions

If you are looking to add spice to your life, you cannot possibly overlook the king of spices. Peppercorns have always been in demand all around the world, proving to be just the right companions for many kinds of cuisine. So, if you would want to make your kitchen look even more interesting and your cuisine much more palatable, you could not possibly do away with the tantalising peppercorns.

There is so much more to peppercorns than what the casual observer may know or may have had the opportunity to take note of. And there is so much variety to them that it would help to know which ones you are looking for. There are different kinds of peppercorns based on the way that they are processed. Green peppercorns, for instance, could have been freeze-dried, air-dried, or may have been preserved in brine solution. It depends on the kind of peppercorns that are required for your purposes, but in general, people tend to prefer air-dried peppercorns to the others.

That is not to under-estimate the value of the freeze-dried ones though – if you are looking for peppercorns that look and feel the best, in terms of appearance as well as in terms of flavour, you must be considering the freeze-dried ones. These peppercorns have been the preferred lot in terms of freshness and their strength of essence, though they may turn out to be more expensive than their air-dried counterparts.

Peppercorns also tend to come from different sources and from various countries. Some of the most famous peppercorns that are in demand along most places in the world are the Malabar peppercorns – these are peppercorns that have had their origins in India along the south western coast. They are found to be rich in fragrance and high on freshness and are often quite pungent for the unsuspecting.

For people who would want their peppercorns to be of a milder variety, it would be a good idea to choose the Madagascar varieties, which are known to be less pungent and are good options when it comes to using as accompaniments for meat and meat products. If you would want to see how peppercorns would be when they are moderate, smoky, and smaller in size, you should try out the Lampong black peppercorns that are products of Indonesia. With their mild aroma, these peppercorns prove to be the right choices for everyday use.

Whatever your options are and whatever tastes you cherish, ensure that you never run out of the most wanted spice around the world – peppercorns.

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