Ever hear of Sichuan Peppercorns?
I had. And I wanted some for myself.
I found the tree, based on a little sleuth work, and my friend Andrew and I set out to grab our own stash of this mysterious Asian delicacy.
Alas! The tree was found, and we spent the better part of an hour collecting our treasure from the tree. No one bothered us or asked us what we were doing. Just pure unadulterated foraging. Our hands dirty and fragrant, our mouths numb and tingly, we we satisfied.
After the berries dried for a few days on a cookie sheet, this is what they looked like.
Now all I had to do was separate all the seeds, stems and usable spice. (All I had to do. This step took quite a while)
Also, I couldn't bring myself to throw out the seeds. Now I've got a jar full of usable Sichuan Peppercorns, and a jar of seeds I need to figure out what to do with.
I'm really excited to make a lot of things with these peppercorns. Spicy, noodley, soups will probably be first, but sweet, hot, numbing chutney sound really good too. You can bet that there will be pictures!