in a nutshell: This rare wild pepper from Madagascar is being discovered by adventurous chefs to add to dishes on their menus.
Wild Voatsiperifery pepper (piper borbonense), distinguishable by its curved tail, is a truly unique wild Cubeb pepper sourced from Madagascar. Despite its rarity, many adventurous chefs are discovering the joys of its incredibly aromatic and complex flavour profile and using it in their recipes. Like Cubeb, Black and Long peppers, Voatsiperifery is a true pepper from the piperaceae family of climbing pepper vines. The woody and floral fragrance of these dense red-brown peppercorns evoke citrus fruits and give an exciting tongue-numbing sensation when crunched in the mouth. It has been a secret ingredient in the Madagascan kitchen for centuries but hard to get hold of in the West. Try seasoning meat and poultry, fish and seafood with it or combine into chocolate desserts where its subtle sweetness and moderate heat add some depth of flavour. We use it when cooking pepper squid or grilling scallops and make a dry rub with orange zest, ginger and Voatsiperifery Wild Pepper to put on our duck or chicken breasts when pan-frying.
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.