[Sca-cooks] Real Cubebs?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 11 17:12:22 PDT 2010

I'm prepping to teach a hands on Ottoman cooking class tomorrow at 
our Kingdom A&S event, a weekend campout. So i'm trying not to do 
email until i get back, but, well...

Mora Blackmarsh wrote:
>Notes from Dragonmarsh RE: Cubebs and other Peppers
>A few years ago there was a canker fungus on the Szechuan  Peppers  that
>threatened the citrus industry.
>The description of the "other"
>peppers sounds like  Szechuan Peppers .

I am very familiar with Szechuan peppers and what i have isn't that. 
They are quite distinctively different, not only in flavor, but in 
appearance and feel.

>Cubeb Berry (Piper cubeba)  are a complete  separate pepper and should not
>be confused with Guinea Pepper -Grains of  Paradise  (Amomum melegeuta).
>They do have different tastes.

I am pretty certain that what Lhasa Karnak is selling (and what i 
have gotten from them the past 2 or 3 years) is Piper guineense (aka 
Ashanti or West African Pepper, in the pepper family (Piperaceae)), 
occasionally called Guinea pepper, although some spices use that 
name, including:
Aframomum/Amomum melegueta (Grains of Paradise) in the ginger family 
(Zingiberaceae); and Xylopia aethiopica (Grains of Selim) in the 
custard apple family (Annonaceae). While all are piquant/spicy, they 
really do taste different from each other.

However, while everything i read says Ashanti pepper tastes like 
cubeb only less bitter, what i have bought really lacks flavor.

Some folks on my local cooks list have made some suggestions in my 
area where maybe i will find real cubebs. I will check them out next 

Gotta run! Still have to buy chicken and chard.
Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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