Our fruity, workhorse-of-the kitchen Robusta Black Peppercorns come from a small organic farm in Vietnam. They're harvested when the peppercorns are ripe, and their classic, herbaceous, robust flavor captivated us at first grind! They're grown by two friends, Dūng and Thanh, using regenerative integrated agricultural techniques. Vietnam's prized Robusta coffee is intercropped with the pepper vines, which provide shade for the coffee bushes and maybe even pick up a bit of that Robusta flavor. This is your daily black pepper.
- You know what to do: grind over everything
- Add to tomato sauces, braises, beans, soups and stocks
- Try pairing a little ground peppercorn with fresh fruit
Peppercorns grow on vines in bunches like grapes. The red peppercorns are ripe, and the red fruit has a mild, sweet flavor. Allowing the peppercorns to ripen on the vine is tricky - peppercorns on the same vine ripen at different rates, and the peppercorns become a bigger target for birds and can mold as they ripen. However, when a skilled farmer can pull this off, the payoff is a warm, fiery peppercorn. These are black peppercorns, but they are fully ripened on the vine into a complete expression of their sweet, savory, fiery flavor.
The Robusta Black Peppercorns are a combination of two heirloom pepper varieties, Vĩnh Linh (grown by Dūng) and Trâu Xanh (grown by Thanh). Together, the two types of sun-dried peppercorns hit a perfect balance of fragrance and flavor.
Meet the Farmers: Meet Dūng (left) and Thanh. We spent a couple of days on their farm, helping with the pepper harvest and learning about their biodynamic, regenerative agricultural practices. They're young (Dūng is 23 and Thanh is 30) and they started working together in 2013, with the goal of growing pepper better (and growing better pepper) than their neighbors. Pretty much every other farmer in the region uses chemical pesticides and fertilizers to maximize yields, but Dūng and Thanh believe in using organic growing practices, intercropping with coffee and chili pepper plants, grazing chickens and ducks, and using nitrogen-fixing trees to support their pepper vines.
We started Burlap & Barrel precisely to work with farmers like them, helping connect them with higher-value markets and customers who will appreciate the thoughtfulness and care with which they're growing their peppercorns.
Love these peppercorns!
A classic spice
I'm usually not a big fan of using pepper in my food, but sometimes I want to finish a steak or veggie roast with a tiny bit of pepper. I really enjoyed the flavor, a classic peppercorn without too much `heat`.
Wonderful for mutable grinders...beautiful fresh grinders!