*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.
- black pepper
- Burlap & Barrel
Top drawer all the way
This pepper adds a wonderful punch to everything: salads, hard boiled eggs, steak!! The pepper is fresh and really does add the great peppery flavor that I crave. For health reasons, I try to cut back on salt consumption. So, the pepper is doing double duty!!
It’s like I’ve never tasted pepper before! Will but forevermore.
I gave the peppercorns as a gift to a friend. Her reaction was she couldn't get over the wonderful unexpected smell of the pepper after years of using bland supermarket varieties. Turns out she was also delighted they came from Zanzibar as it was a place she had always wanted to visit.
The Zanzibar black pepper is a true clean black pepper. Cracks well in the grinder and adds just the right amount of heat and depth of flavor.