*Winner of the Gold medal for quality by Monde Selection*
Black pepper grows in bunches like grapes, on a climbing vine. Most black peppercorns are harvested while still green, and the drying process gives them their distinctive dark skin. Ours are allowed to ripen longer on the vine before being hand-picked and sun-dried, resulting in a rich chocolate-colored pepper berry with dense wrinkles and a bright, fruity spiciness.
Burlap & Barrel is the exclusive importer of Zanzibar black pepper into the United States. Our pepper, like all of our spices from Zanzibar, are grown organically.
Bloomberg writes that this pepper's flavor “punches through with fruitiness and heat—and totally redefines a spice you thought you knew.”
Alison Stewart, Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist, says "It’s like when you stop drinking bad coffee and drink really good coffee for the first time, it’s like, Oh my God, there’s such a difference. When I started using their black pepper, I was like, This is a whole other level of taste."
Brooks Headley, Chef @ Superiority Burger calls it "Our favorite black pepper."
Rick Easton, Chef @ Of Bread and Salt says "If the pepper wasn’t amazing, I wouldn’t buy it."
- Origin: Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Process: Sun-dried
- Ingredients: 100% whole black peppercorns (Piper nigrum)
- Tasting notes: Cacao • Lemon • Tropical Heat
- Grind fresh onto anything and everything
- Saute ground with butter and cheese and drizzle over pasta for Cacio e Pepe
- Cook a few tablespoons with butter, shallots, and creme for an Au Poivre sauce
- In Spiced Winter Squash (community recipe)
- In Chickpea Sumac Salad (community recipe)
- Pairs well with: Silk Chili, Smoked Pimenton Paprika, Cured Sumac
We source our Zanzibar black pepper from a cooperative of smallholder artisan farmers on the Zanzibar islands off of the eastern coast of Tanzania, many of whose families have been growing pepper and other spices (including our cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) for generations. Black pepper grows in bunches, like grapes, on a climbing vine and are mostly harvested while still green. Ours are allowed to ripen a little longer, where the pepper turns more orange, before it is hand-picked and sun-dried into a rich chocolate-colored peppercorn berry. It is optimal to store and keep the peppercorns whole as ground peppercorn loses its flavor and aroma very rapidly.
Like all of the spices from our partner cooperative in Zanzibar, our black pepper is grown on an EU-certified organic farm.
Meet the Farmer: Bwana Bakari (pictured with his child) is the chair of the farmers' cooperative, where we source our peppercorns in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Each year, he leads the cooperative in harvesting these spicy, citrusy peppercorns by hand. Then Yumna (last picture) and her team hand sort and check for quality.
I love everything I buy from Burlap and Barrel . I love to cook, and Burlap and Barrel spices take my cooking to a new level. I am buying from Burlap and Barrel exclusively from now on.
The idea of single origin spices reveals that spices of the same species have variances between areas, terrains, and how they are handled. Zanzibar peppercorns have a flavor profile different from Vietnamese-grown black pepper. I like that difference and choice. It’s worth it.
My husband purchased Zanibar peppercorns when he was visiting Stone Town to see where Freddy Mercury was born. I enjoyed them so much, I tried to find where I could purchase again in the U.S. I googled and found out that Burlap and Barrel imports the Zanzibar peppercorns to replenish my supply.
Thought I knew what the simple spice "pepper" was, I was way wrong. I have come to appreciate quality\differences after purchasing products from this on-line source. Thank you Burlap & Barrel.