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Sichuan Pepper - a Spice for Meat and Sweets

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Sichuan Pepper

Sichuan pepper is quite a well-known spice, hailing from the East. The name itself comes from the Sichuan province of China, which is considered the birthplace of the spice. Sichuan pepper is widely known in the countries of the East and is used in Japan and India, among others.

Despite its name, it is not a pepper and has nothing in common with black or white pepper. In fact, the spice is made from the fruits of the thorny plant (bush) that thrives in the Sichuan province of China. The fruits are citruses.

The only edible part of them is the inside of the peel. And since it's made from citrus fruits, you might find the taste to be on the strange side (it's not spicy, rather it's kind of sweet), having nothing in common with actual peppers.

In China, they use Sichuan pepper to make bonbons and other sweets that enjoy tremendous popularity in the populous country.

The fruits are small, reddish brown, and are sold only after being dried.

In China, it is raised on a pedestal; there's even a saying about Sichuan pepper: China is home to good food, while Sichuan is home to good spices. The only reason it's called a pepper is because of the numbing effect it has on the tongue.

Sichuan pepper goes perfectly with dishes with fish, pork, chicken and vegetables. It's also used in tandem with ginger and anise.