Kampot pepper is a very rare pepper from the family "Piper retrofactum", close cousin of piper longum which includes long pepper Java.
Kampot pepper owes its particular flavor to its terroir like fine wines.
This product almost disappeared during the Khmer Rouge period, when its exploitation was reduced to nothing.
It has a more pungent taste than black peppercorns. It produces a stronger heat, comparable to that of red chillies
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 a rapid growth favoured by the French colonial authorities, production will stagnate, mainly because of the inconsistency of the protectorate policy which will try on many occasions to limit the export to the mother country and the other countries where France exercised its domination, even to put prohibitive tariffs in order to favour the pepper of the French colonists of “Cochin-chine”
Kampot pepper is available in four varieties:
Green pepper is harvested from September, when it is still young and tender. It is harvested in December, just before maturity and has a more pronounced spicy taste. Harvested young on the liana, its aromas literally explode in the mouth due to a spiciness little pronounced.
Black pepper is actually green pepper which once torn off becomes black by a natural oxidation process. However, he has had time to develop strong and delicate aromas. Its very intense and sweet taste both reveals floral notes of eucalyptus and fresh mint.
Red pepper, which has been allowed to mature (and under sufficient sunlight), turns red and is then picked in March by hand and dried for eight days. The aromas of the fruit come to coat the spicy pepper and bring flavors that go very well with red meat.
White pepper is actually grains of dried red pepper to which the flesh has been removed in order to have only the heart of the pepper. This spicy side raises salads and seafood.
The difference between all these peppers is the terroir and the know-how of the farmers of Kampot.
Only twenty Cambodian families grow this pepper.