Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Hot Standard 46g Steenbergs details and description
Steenbergs Tasmanian Mounter Pepper is roughly 10 times hotter than normal black pepper - you have been warned! We get ours direct from the Parrawe Estate in Australia. Tasmanian pepper (Tasmania lanceolata) is sometimes called mountain pepper and comes from the uplands of Tasmania and South East Australia. Strangely, the indigenous Aboriginal peoples are thought not to have used these for spicing foods, although this may simply be colonial wishful thinking. The berries are dark bluey-black in colour and have a 5 – 8mm diameter knobbly round shape, with a ridge around the centre.
Tasmanian Moutain Pepper is the spice from the mountain pepper tree of Tasmania, which is the group of peppers native to Australia. There are two plants for mountain pepper being Tasmannia lanceolata (mountain pepper) and T. insipida (Dorriga pepper), which comes from New South Wales rather than the other which comes from Tasmania. Steenbergs source its mountain pepperleaf from Tasmannia lanceolata. Mountain pepper shrubs have attractive deep red young stems and branches. Mountain pepper tress grow to 4-5m (13-16ft) in height. Mountain pepper have leaves that vary in size from 1.5-13cm (0.5-5 inches), depending on whether it is grown in alpine or lowland areas. Mountain pepper trees have small yellow to creamy coloured flowers, which are followed by shiny, deep purple to black plump fruits, which are 5mm in diameter (0.25 inches), which contain several small black seeds inside. The mountain pepperberries are dried in the same way as the mountain pepperleaf by drying them in a dark, well-aired place that is dry, but not humid, as they do not need to be matured like peppercorns for the flavours to develop. Mountain pepper berries have an oily, mineral-like, turpentine aroma and when tasted there is an initial sweet and fruity flavour followed by an intense and numbing heat. For more on Tasmanian mountain pepper, try Gernot Katzer's Spice pages or Wikipedia.
The berries are sweet at first, but the aftertaste lingers and builds over 5 or so minutes becoming really sharp, pungent and numbing – they are way hotter than classic black peppercorns so use one-tenth of the amount you would normally flavour with and don't put directly onto food instead use them slow-cooked in stews or soups (they're just too bitingly hot). Another way it is used is mixed with other native Australian foods to create a bush spices mix of wattle, lemon myrtle and mountain pepper. For some ideas, try Bush Tucker Recipes or Venison With Mountain Pepper or Tasmanian Pepper Poached Salmon With Orange.
Steenbergs Tasmanian Mountain Pepper is a specialist spice that forms part of Steenbergs range of unusual and hard to find ingredients. If you have any other difficult ingredients that you would like us to try and find, please call us on 01765 640 088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do - we always love a challenge even if it sometimes gets us nowhere fast!