In a nutshell: This unique Single Estate Indian black pepper, with a strong lingering aroma, is cultivated in Tamil Nadu, to the south of the more well-known Indian pepper growing regions.
Most Indian peppers come from the state of Kerala. Both Malabar and Tellicherry peppers, along with other famous varietals, are grown there. Kolli Malai, however, is cultivated in Tamil Nadu, to the south of the more well-known pepper growing regions. It’s grown in the Malai hills (Kolli means hill or mountain), an area inundated by abundant rainfall. Many spices are grown there, from cardamom to clove, and are most respected for their health properties, and many of the products grown in the region are used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s also an up and coming tea and coffee growing region. The Malai hills give this pepper a lot of character: plenty of aroma and a heavy bite. Great for a fan of any hotter black peppers.
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.