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Purple Peppercorns

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Our vine-ripened Purple Peppercorns are the heirloom Vietnamese variety Vinh Linh, renowned for its strong flavor. These are complex, fruity black peppercorns with an aroma like strawberries and a kick like a jalapeño. They can be used in place of black pepper in any recipe, as well as in desserts or ground over fresh cut fruit.

Unlike virtually every other black pepper in the world, these peppercorns are fully ripened on the vine, which requires expertise and commitment from the farmer and produces an exceptionally complex sweet and spicy peppercorn unlike any other we've tasted. These peppercorns were grown on a tiny regenerative farm by two friends, Dũng and Thanh.



Origin:

Dak Lak, Vietnam

Aliases:

Red peppercorns, black peppercorns, black pepper

Process:

Sun-dried

Ingredients:

Vine-ripened black peppercorns (Piper nigrum)

Tasting notes:

Strawberry • Cacao Nibs • Pickled Plum

  • 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
  • Ginger Date Chai

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. 

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 and 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.