Cumeo Tailed Peppercorns

Katherine Loffreto

Cumeo Tailed Peppercorns are rare and intriguing. Its delicate aroma has made it quickly become a popular spice amongst chefs and home cooks all over the world. The funny thing is, Cumeo doesn’t taste much like a peppercorn at all really. Instead, the peppercorn is full of aromatic floral notes like lemongrass, lemon balm, blood orange, and grapefruit. You’ll immediately notice how light and citrusy the smell is, similar to citronella, perhaps because the pepper naturally contains citronella, along with other essential oils.

These beautiful berries are sourced from Nepal - high in the Himalayan Mountains. It grows wild at an altitude of 1200 m to 2700 meters, deep in the subtropical rainforests of Northern India.  Cumeo Pepper is the fruit of the Lindera Neesiana plant. There are about 100 species of Lindera, which grow mainly in Asia. In the summer, the Lindera produces 6-8 mm red fruit, the Cumeo pepper. The pepperfruits are painstakingly picked by hand at the peak of ripeness, usually by the local residents. After harvesting, the grapefruit pepper dries under the sun. During drying, it changes color, from the original red color to brown to black. This slow drying process maintains the flavor quality and aroma of the product.

The Cumeo pepper smells of citrus with intense, even delicate notes of blood orange and grapefruit. The berries contain plenty of essential oils such as Z-, E-Citral, and Citronella, which are responsible for the lemon aroma. It also tastes like cedar, eucalyptus, and slightly like camphor. Its flavor is unique and suits many different dishes. Traditionally, it is used to prepare mushrooms. It’s also an incredible accompaniment to desserts as well as cocktails. When used on seafood, it lends a wonderful fresh citrusy flavor. Cumeo pepper also refines grilled vegetables and many vegetarian spices, you can combine it well with chili, for those who like it spicy. Many wok and curry dishes also benefit from this potent pepper. Try adding some freshly ground Cumeo Tailed Peppercorn to a homemade yogurt dip for fresh vegetables.

Cumeo can also be used as a table pepper! Just put it in a pepper mill and season everything on your plate as you please! It is something special to put the Cumeo pepper, mixed with other pepper varieties, in a pepper mill. This way, you can combine different pepper aromas individually. The possibilities are truly endless. Enjoy creating unique culinary masterpieces with this delicious peppercorn!

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