In a nutshell: A unique South American Single Estate red pepper that is extremely fragrant, with delicate notes of dried fruits and a long-lasting taste in the mouth. Cultivated in Ecuador, just 15 kms form the Equator.
Red peppercorns are extremely rare and demand a great deal of dexterity. The peppercorns are left on the vine until they attain full maturity, a process that is longer than the production of black pepper. The ripe grains are selected one by one then hand-picked exactly at mid-day, when humidity levels are at their lowest. Strict attention is then required so as not to blemish the delicate skin of the peppercorns.
Once dried, the reddish peppercorns are more complex and fruitier that their black counterparts, without any reduction in their characteristic, sharp heat. A great finishing pepper, somewhat sweet, with a refined complexity, perfect to perk up dishes where pepper should be the star of the show.
Ecuador may not be known as one of the great pepper growing regions of the world but these peppers are now gaining recognition from chefs and cooks for their superb flavour profile.
This exceptional pepper is the fruit of the Yupanqui family dedication to growing these peppers just 15km from the Equator. A unique terroir and micro-climate, with sea breezes wafting over the pepper plantation from the Pacific Ocean 95 kms away, help create a fertile crop. Dedicated also to research, the family have founded a small research institute to refine their methods and help educate local farmers.
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.