[Sca-cooks] Real Cubebs?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 9 12:46:04 PDT 2010

I love cubebs. I first bought them in a spice shop in the mid 1970s 
just because i had no idea what they were. Yeah, i do that, buy 
mysterious ingredients, then find out what they are.

Cubebs look like black peppercorns but a bit larger and with a fine 
stem (tail). They have a peppery scent with a hint of citrus and 
resin. In my experience they are not as hot as regular peppers, but 
are more aromatic (plus i don't have the reaction to them i have to 
pepper skins.... which is why i tend to use white pepper).
For more info:

I buy a lot of spices at Lhasa Karnak, in Berkeley, which is 
generally reliable. But a few years ago there was a problem with 
cubebs (i forget which, a disease or insect infestation). Since then 
LK has been selling as cubebs something that definitely is not cubeb. 
They are tinier than cubebs, have no tail, and pretty much no flavor. 
The wrinkled black skin slips off easily revealing a red-brown 
smoothing skinned sphere.

Does anyone know where to get REAL cubebs?
(not a random link on the internet that i could find myself, or ''i 
think so and so sells them''. I want to know i'm getting the real 
thing rather than i buying more of something that isn't cubeb.)
Or are they still unavailable in the US?

With hope and thanks in advance,
Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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