Kampot Pepper

Updated: May 11, 2019

Kampot pepper owes its particular flavor to its terroir like fine wines.

It is considered one of the best peppers in the world. It's a pepper that comes from the Piper Nigrum.

The cultivation of pepper in Cambodia is relatively old and even traces of it can be found in the story of Zhou Daguan, a Chinese diplomat who visited the Khmer Empire at the end of the 13th century. However, it did not develop until the late nineteenth century, following the war in Aceh, during which, in 1873-1874, the Sultan of this principality of the current Indonesia burned his plans to pepper so that this wealth escapes the Dutch colonizers, thus creating a shortage on the product. After these tragic events, the recovery of its culture has been slow.

The large production of low quality pepper from neighbouring countries has made its resurgence difficult. In order to combat the peppers of inferior quality neighbouring countries sold to Kampot as "Kampot pepper", a logo for PGI products has been created and is affixed to their packaging.

Kampot pepper has a fruity fragrance, with notes of pear and apple, subtly mentholated, with sublime eucalyptus tips.

The fresh green pepper is not exported and much used in the Cambodian cuisine. Although some specialized spice shops sell the fresh green pepper preserved in salt. Green pepper is harvested from September, when it is still young and tender.

Black pepper is actually green pepper which once torn off becomes black by a natural oxidation; it is powerful and subtle at the same time.

With deep and intense taste, the specialists find him notes of flowers with a touch of eucalyptus and fresh mint. The red pepper of the Kampot is the fruit at full maturity where its bark turns red. It is moderately pungent, it remains very subtly perfumed. It has fruity and floral nuances marked by a strong lemon taste. The white pepper is actually red pepper that has been removed from its pericarp. It is closer to black pepper but less pungent.

It has very delicate flavors of citrus, undergrowth and fresh herbs.

This product almost disappeared during the Khmer Rouge period, when its exploitation was reduced to nothing.

The long Kampot pepper is a very rare pepper from the family Piper retrofactum, close cousin of piper longum which includes long pepper Java.

It is an exceptional pepper that comes mainly from a district of Chhuok, north of Mount Bokor, from the Kampot province in Cambodia, which is why it is also called Kampot pepper.

The Khmer originally used it in traditional rituals with other vegetable ingredients, or to make rice liquor.

On the nose, its scents are warm, captivating, with notes of cinnamon and gingerbread, but also floral with a touch of rose and saffron.

On the palate, the attack is warm and sweet, with extraordinary notes of cocoa and tonka beans.

The flavor then softens to fruity and honeyed, to evolve towards a flavor of dark chocolate and cinnamon.

Its spiciness is hot, similar to black pepper and it has an incredible length in the mouth.

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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