We’re diving back into the wild wild world of peppercorns with something really buzzworthy. The Fermented Green Peppercorn! It’s a complex and nuanced spice with untapped potential. Its unique flavor profile and grind-less edibility make it an instant star amongst otherwise ordinary table peppers. Firstly, this peppercorn comes pre-seasoned! That’s right, because it’s been packed and cured in salt it can often be used without the addition of more salt. That makes it a piece of cake to use, and an absolute joy to cook with. Not only that, but because of the fermentation process, the peppercorns don’t need to be ground or even cooked. You can snack on em right out of the jar!
The fermentation process is fascinating. It all begins in beautiful Cambodia – the hot and humid climate provides the ideal environment for growing these piquant little pearls. The peppercorns are picked when young and still green. Because of that, they haven’t had an opportunity reach their peak of peppery punch. They’re still a bit spicy mind you. That kick isn’t completely absent. But it is noticeably more muted than its black peppercorn counterparts. It’s its young green state, the peppercorns have lots of bright citrus and vegetable notes like green tomato, chili, and asparagus.
After harvest, the peppercorns are dried slightly – this isn’t a complete dehydration, the corns are still soft and can be eaten without further cooking. At this point, they’re ready for a brine! A dry brine that is… The peppercorns are coated with a handfuls of fine sea salt, at which point they’re ready for the last step - fermentation! The salted peppercorns are loaded into wood barrels and sealed for several months. During this time, the flavor continues to develop. The peppercorns soften further, and become soaked with the sea salt. The fermentation process continues and the peppercorns develop complex lactic pickle nuances. After a few month’s time, the peppercorns are unloaded, packed into jars, and make their way to us at Lafayette Spices! They’re now ready for your kitchen cabinet!
As we noted earlier, this particular peppercorn is incredibly versatile, it can be either worked into a sauce (a more traditional method), or it can be literally sprinkled over a dish as a condiment. It works beautifully with rich red meats like beef, lamb, and venison. On the flip side, it also pairs well with roasted veggies and grilled seafood. It makes a tantalizing addition to vinaigrettes and mayo based sauces. One of our favorite applications is eggs! Hard boiled, scrambled, you name it. A little sprinkle of our Fermented Green Peppercorn will change your egg game forever!
They make an easy and flavorful accompaniment to seafood. A grilled swordfish or tuna steak can quickly become a mouthwatering masterpiece by making a quick reduction of white wine, garlic, shallots, and the peppercorns. Strain it, add fresh peppercorns, and into that mixture, emulsify in unsalted butter. What you’ll be left with will be a smooth rich sauce that will make your seafood dishes instantly unforgettable.
This process for the Fermented Green Peppercorn is a long and (slightly) complicated one, but it all pays off in the end when you get a taste of these tiny green miracles. Savor it!