Kampot Long Red Peppercorn with Chicken

KAMPOT LONG RED PEPPERCORNS unique and interesting peppercorns

Katherine Loffreto

They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and flavor profiles. The Kampot Long Red Peppercorn might be one of the most unique on the market. Valued for its unusual size, shape, color and incomparable flavor profile. While it’s been assumed for many years that the best peppercorns originated from India, the Kampot Peppercorn – which hails from Cambodia – is having a bit of a moment. The Kampot Provence sits on the southern coast of the country, and produces some of the most extraordinary spices the world has ever known.

The uses for the Kampot Long Red Peppercorn are numerous. They can either be grated on a microplane or metal box grater or it can be broken up into smaller pieces and put inside a traditional pepper grinder. Alternatively, they could be crushed in a mortar and pestle. The gentle heat and lovely fruitness of the pepper lends it to so many applications. It can be added to a grinder for general everyday use – just be sure to not mix it with other peppercorns so its flavor really shines! Try grating it over smoked meats like duck, ribs, and pork chops. The fruit flavors would pair beautifully with grilled fruits like pineapple and mango. A little crack over some fresh strawberries or vanilla ice cream would be absolutely divine.

We used the unique peppercorns in two preparations: A braised chicken thigh with kale and white beans, and a pepper crusted pork tenderloin with red wine mustard sauce. Both dishes did a wonderful job portraying the versatility of the spice. The peppercorns work well when ground and applied to raw proteins before cooking. Because of their flavor strength, they’re probably best suited for heartier meats like pork, beef, and venison. Alternatively, instead of grinding, they can be used whole – simmered in a sauce, soup, or stew and then removed. The large “fruits” are easy to remove, and just like bay leaves, impart a world of flavor.

But it’s not just about the savory stuff. The nuances of dried fruit and warm winter spices make the Kampot Long Red Peppercorn a perfect seasoning tool for sweet stuff too. Just imagine a little bit grated over the top of a rich chocolate ganache. Or a few pieces steeping along with vanilla beans for a velvety vanilla peppercorn ice cream. The possibilities really are limitless!

The flavor of these incredible peppercorns is just as complex as the region. As you begin to taste it, powerful and fruity aromas develop. The flavor is unique and continues to evolve through the tasting process. There are initial notes of dried fruits such as prune, fig, and dates – then higher more acidic notes of dried fruit like currant, raspberry, and strawberry. Beneath all of this is a very subtle honey-like sweetness. The pepperiness, while certainly noticeable, is not overwhelming. The spiciness is more intense than black peppercorns – but with a pleasant zing, not a hot jalapeno heat.

You can be assured that your spice game will be strong! Your guests are going to absolutely love the unique flavors and incredible history of the Kampot Long Red Peppercorns. Bon appetite!