Our Fermented White Pepper comes from a family farm on the island of Bangka, Sumatra, Indonesia. It's grown by a farmer named Pak Sugiri and his son, Ilham. It is picked fresh and then fermented according to traditional methods, using the fruit of the fresh peppercorn.
Highly prized in Indonesia but rarely found in the US, Fermented White Peppercorns add a deep umami flavor and funk to everything they touch. Grind over steak to mimic the flavor of dry aging, over veggies for heat and depth, or in traditional Cantonese and southeast Asia dishes that call for white pepper.
"When I opened a bottle of his fermented white peppercorns, the aroma came out like a wallop." Mari Uyehar, TASTE Magazine
- Origin: Bangka Island, Indonesia
- Aliases: Muntok white peppercorns
- Process: Fermented in a stream, then washed and sun-dried
- Ingredients: 100% fermented white peppercorns (Piper nigrum)
- Tasting notes: Goat Cheese • Celery • Funky Fermentation
- Substitute for black peppercorns where you want a funky kick
- Grind over seafood dishes - especially good in crab cakes
- Add to blended vegetable soups, like potato or cauliflower soups
- Pairs well with: New Harvest Turmeric, Wild Icelandic Kelp, Wild Mountain Cumin
Bangka Island in Indonesia is famous for the particular fermentation process that farmers use to process their peppercorns, picking fresh pepper and soaking it in open-air fermentation pools for two weeks, using the natural sugar in the peppercorn fruit to create a white pepper that's savory, cheesy and unlike any other we've tasted.
Since we're huge fans of anything funky and fermented, and of spices with very specific methods of processing, we had to go to Bangka to find a farmer to work with. Ethan had planned a trip in the summer of 2017, around the time of the pepper harvest. While he was preparing for the trip, two days before he was scheduled to arrive in Bangka, he got an email, totally out of the blue:
"Dear Ethan Frisch,
I introduce myself my name is Sugiri, I am from Bangka Island have white pepper garden as shown attached.
I see email on your web ( www.burlapandbarrell) that you sell many kind of spices.
I would like to offer the corporation to sell pepper to your company, we can start with little volume first then if it is success, we can cooperate for long time.
Let me know if you are looking for organic or conventional pepper.
Finally, this is the offer from me and I will wait good news from you. Thank you very much, have a great day.
Ethan responded that he'd be right over.
It turned out that Sugiri had grown up on the farm but left to pursue a 20-year career in IT in Bandung, one of Indonesia's bigger cities. As his parents got older, he and his son Ilham decided to move back home to take over the farm.
Ethan visited a dozen farms around the island but was struck both by the quality of Sugiri and Ilham's peppercorns and their entrepreneurialism and hustle. Unfortunately, they weren't quite ready to export at the time, but we're very excited to announce that two years later, we've brought in the first small shipment of their fermented white peppercorns.
I ordered this fermented white pepper because I never used white pepper leave alone the one that was fermented, like this excellent product from Burlap and Barrel. True, we are a bit cautious about its unfamiliar aroma, but when I cooked with it, the result was ... well, unexpectedly fantastic! I since ordered some regular white pepper from elsewhere and can say with confidence, that fermented one is one to keep and use - highly recommended!
All my purchases from B&B have been great and they are all enhancing my CSA eggs and vegetables
Just right amount of pepper for many dishes, flavor full!
Great mix of heat and umami. Tastes amazing on asparagus and eggs, and literally everything else I’ve put it on. A permanent addition to my spice cabinet.
I couldn't get over the smell, it was almost rotten to me.