In a nutshell: Great Taste 2018 3-star award. This exceptional sansho will add intense citrus flavours to all your Japanese-style dishes and lift the humble pork chop or chicken supper to new heights.
This is one of our favourite peppers to use even if it is technically not a true pepper. Like the Sichuan peppers, it is a member of the prickly ash trees that are part of the botanical rue family. True Japanese sansho comes from the Zanthoxylum piperitum tree and has a strong, sensual and intense citrus and floral aroma and flavour. Possessing the same anaesthetic properties to red and green Sichuan pepper that leave a prickly, numbing sensation on the tongue when the peppercorn is cracked. All parts of the sansho tree are used in Japan for a variety of dishes - the young leaves, stalks and blossoms make their way into salads and garnishes and the peppercorns themselves go into that everyday Seven Spice mix, Shichimi Togarashi, and most famously are a crucial component of grilled eel dishes. Add them to noodle dishes, miso soups or combine with ginger and soy for enticing dips. They will add fragrance to all types of cooking and ingredients such as poultry, pork and seafood, especially good with salt and sansho pepper squid.
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.