Indian long pepper, sometimes called Java pepper, is native to India and Indonesia; ours comes from tribal villages in Orissa, India. These peppers, which look like catkins, are harvested green and sun-dried to become grayish-black. In North and East Africa, it's used in slow-cooked stews. This sweet, fragrant pepper has a distinctive taste of black pepper with a biting aftertaste, and Indian long pepper can be substituted for black pepper. Indian long pepper can be used in many exotic Asian dishes and clear soups and can be tossed into curries. I personally put in a few when making marinade olives.
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Once hailed by Romans as the ultimate peppery spice, wild long peppers soon disappeared into culinary obscurity with the agricultural domestication of their cousin, the modern peppercorn. Long pepper still inhabits the mountainous central highlands of Bali and is harvested from the wild forest surrounding the traditional coffee, vanilla and spice farms. The flavor of Balinese Long Pepper is deep and complex, simultaneously releasing an earthy pungency with sweet overtones of cardamom and nutmeg. Use Balinese Long Pepper as you would black pepper, or incorporate it into recipes calling for black pepper for a more unique end product.
Applications: Roast long pepper whole prior to grinding for stronger flavor. Use as you would black pepper.
How to Store and Share: Store spices in opaque air-tight containers away from moisture. If grinding, do so just prior to use as pre-ground spices lose flavor and aroma over time.