Can't decide which Sichuan pepper to try? Want to have three different and distinct flavor profiles to choose from for making Sichuan dishes? Then this collection of three types of Sichuan peppercorns may be the answer. Included in the Sichuan Pepper Sampler are 1 ounce each of red Hanyuan pepper, Big Red Pao pepper, and green Sichuan pepper. (About 1/2 cup of each type.)
A member of the citrus family, the Zanthoxylum genus includes numerous edible species of both red and green Sichuan pepper. The most famous red "hua jiao" is grown in Hanyuan County, Sichuan. It is small, dark red and slightly floral. Equally popular in Sichuan nowadays is the da hong pao, or big red pao, species, which is larger, brighter red and slightly tart. And green Sichuan pepper, which is bright, vegetal and piney, is widely used with fish, chicken and vegetable dishes.
Premium Sichuan pepper should have a strong citrusy fragrance and taste as well as an intense numbing quality. Ours is particularly potent, as it has not undergone the once-required heat-treatment process that for so long robbed Sichuan pepper of some of its punch. We believe we are the first to (legally) bring in untreated peppercorns, since Chinese suppliers uniformly heat-treat for the U.S. market.
This Sichuan pepper is from the fall 2017 harvest and is fresh and citrusy both on the nose and tongue. As a premium product, it is not only hand-harvested but hand-sorted so as to include mostly opened seed pods and very few stems and seeds, which appear in abundance in lower-quality Sichuan pepper. (Having said that, humans will be human, and some do slip through.) These Sichuan peppercorns go direct from farmer to our supplier in Chengdu for processing and packaging, and meet strict U.S. safety standards.
Go here for more information on Sichuan pepper or details on how to roast and grind the peppercorns to use as a powder. You'll also find recipes for numerous Sichuan dishes that feature hua jiao.
To learn more about the history of Sichuan pepper in the U.S. and current sourcing in China, read this article we reported for Roads & Kingdoms.Source: Grown in Hanyuan County, Sichuan Province; Gansu Province; and Yunnan Province. Processed in Chengdu, Sichuan.