A while back I read an interview with the iconic Maggie Beer who said she would not be without Aussie Pepper from North Queensland in her kitchen.
A few weeks later, I was reminded of Aussie Pepper again when I watched an episode of a program called Spice Trip that focussed on the highly sought after black pepper of Kampot in Cambodia. The host made the point that the black peppercorns we buy in the supermarket have often been warehoused for years and years before they reach the supermarket, let alone our shelves at home. Even if you grind at home, there is a chasm of difference between the fresh grounds of old peppercorns and freshly dried ones.
Freshly dried peppercorns retain a complexity and aromatic punch that has to be smelled and tasted to be believed. Judicious seasoning with pepper like that can lift a simple dish from ordinary to sublime. Even better when it is used as one of the cornerstone ingredients in a dish like spaghetti cacio e pepe, or black pepper tofu.
Aussie Pepper don’t have a website you can order from. You have to email them and they will send you their very reasonable price list. Then you simply email your order and they send out the goods with an old-fashioned, hand written invoice attached. I LOVE it – so refreshingly old-fashioned and trusting.
Aussie Pepper have black pepper, white pepper and, when in season, fresh green peppercorns.
The white pepper is revelation for me. I’ve never really bothered to seek it out for a recipe, just substituting with black pepper, but now that I’ve inhaled the fragrance of this jar, well let’s just say the baby bettys are lucky they aren’t getting a sprinkle on their morning porridge. It is amazing.
I’ve become slightly obsessed and have been grinding a bit out and inhaling it pretty much every time I walk past my pepper mill. Sure, it makes me sneeze but it’s worth it.
And you can make pretty pictures with it.
I call this “Pepper Rain” and it should be viewed while singing “Pepper Rain” to the tune of “Purple Rain” by Prince.
And before you ask, no I do not have too much time on my hands even though it might seem very much as though I have.
I haven’t included Aussie Pepper’s email in my post (spam prevention) but if you are interested, do email me (details on my contacts page) and I’d be delighted to pass it on.