Szechuan / Sichuan Pepper (whole)
This spice with pleasant citrus and grapefruit notes is mainly used in the aromatic fruit or seed capsules. It usually grows wild on bushes and shrubs up to high mountain regions. Harvesting takes place in autumn, after which the ripe fruits are dried in the sun until they open. The small black seed then falls out. Most of the taste is in the capsule walls. The rather medium hot pepper is indispensable for Asian cuisine and is often combined there with hot chilli varieties. Characteristic are the tingling taste and a slight numbness on the tongue. Until a few years ago, Sichuan pepper was hardly available outside Asia.
Use: ideal with all wok dishes, light poultry and fish dishes.
When mixed with cinnamon, fennel, star anise and cloves, the seasoning is known as the classic ¨Chinese Five Spice¨ spice.