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Grains of Paradise

Complex and aromatic, floral and citrusy, use in place of black pepper.

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Grains of Paradise are a complex, aromatic ingredient beloved across Africa, especially in Ethiopian and West African cuisines.

Use whole or grind into stews and sauces for a heat that’s reminiscent of black pepper but beautifully herbal, floral and citrusy.



Bench Maji, Ethiopia


Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, ossame, fom wisa, korerima




 Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta)

Tasting notes:

Fresh Herbs • Lemon Zest • Pickled Ginger

Cooking tips

  • Add a pinch of whole grains to rice or grains to infuse with flavor.
  • Grind the grains to add to banana bread or other sweet baked goods.
  • Grind and blend with chili, turmeric, cumin and paprika for a homemade berbere.


Sourcing image

Our Grains of Paradise are grown by a cooperative of farmers in Bench Maji in southern Ethiopia. 

Also known in West Africa as Melegueta pepper, they are related to cardamom and ginger, and they are harvested from pods produced by a trumpet-shaped purple flower.

how do we compare? Supermarket Icon Supermarket Fair Trade Icon Fair Trade
Heirloom Spices Yes No No
Fair Prices for Farmers Yes No Depends on global commodity price
Time in Storage None. We import spices at harvest Up to 10 years At least 1 year
Flavor Profile Intense & fresh Stale & bland Inconsistent
Knows Farmers Names Yes No Unlikely
Customer Service Fast responses from real people! No There might be a 1-800 number?