Red Sumatran Long Pepper
Red Sumatran Long Pepper
Name: Long pepper, Långpeppar, Cabe Jawa, Piper Retrofractum
Origin: Lampung, Southern Sumatra, Indonesia
Farmer: Mr Waluyo
Harvest: December 2018
Character: Hot, warm, spicy and lasting heat building slowly to engulf the whole mouth back through your cheekbones. Elements of nutmeg, hay, cardamom and smoked wood. A true ally in the kitchen for depth in your dishes.
Pair with: Asparagus, thinly sliced in mashed potato, goat cheese, gremolata, spinach, blackberry, green beans, curries, strifries, fried harring, mushroom, burrata, star anise, cream, pork, rubs, grill marinades, honey glaze, thyme, snaps, sallads, slow cooks, pickles, black cabbage, chipotle, smoked flavors, nutmeg
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Cooking with Red Sumatran Long Pepper:
Long pepper is an interesting spice. It differs quite a lot from normal black pepper both in flavor and heat. We like to use it both whole, in bigger pieces and crushed depending on what we are cooking.
Adding whole peppers into a slow cooking stews and one pots will gently release flavor into the dish and leave an ingredient with nice taste of pepper and spice. Adding a bit of crushed long pepper in the final states of cooking will also enhance meals. Making rubs is marvelous. Pickle with it!
Long Pepper grows on flowering, evergreen vines. The fruits grow on long stems with numerous corns all clustered together, hence its name. The plant and leaves are similar to black pepper but unlike normal pepper long pepper grows upward, facing the skies and gravity itself. There are two main species, Piper Longum which is native to India, and Piper Retrofractum with its origins in Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
Long pepper was actually the first pepper to reach Europe going all the way back to the greek era and was widely traded until the cultivation of black pepper took over the market. For a long time it disappeared from western cuisine but has once again started to enrich kitchens throughout the world.
When our partner Adi came across the best long pepper he had ever tried, he started a pepper nursery selling the seedlings to families looking to create an extra income by growing pepper in their backyards and small plots of land. Since then his business model has been outdated as whole communities now cultivate his long pepper and grow their own seedlings. We are so happy that we have created a new business model where we buy this semi urban pepper from one of these communities in Lampung.
After experimenting with farmer Waluyo and Adi on when to pick the pepper we have found that longer maturity, when the pepperberries turns really red, gives an interesting balance between heat and deep flavour. After picking our farmers handsort and sundry the most mature peppers.