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Tellecherry black peppercorns


Margaret Pilgrim
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I was introduced to Tellecherry peppercorns some twenty years ago, tried them, thought "ho hum", used them up and forgot about them. I recently bought them again, and "Wow!" They are fabulous: distinctive black pepper taste, fruity if that is possible, pungent but with flavor, not heat. I don't know if my initial batch was stale when I bought it, but I will certainly continue to use this specialty black peppercorn.

eGullet member #80.

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Maragret -- I had exactly the same experience. I am not convinced that they make a difference in the finished dish, but just the grinding and sniffing is worth a premium.

Helena -- Do you think the vendor makes a difference, or are you experiencing variability from one shipment to the next?

Related note: I buy mine from The Spice House. (If you don't use the link, be careful to prepend "the"-- spicehouse.com is something else entirely.)In 2001, we made up spice kits as Christmas presents, and needed about 2 pounds of black pepper. The Spice House ground it to my specs and shipped it the same day. The grind was so good that there was absolutely no dust in the bottom the container. Highly recommended.

Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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Would it be wrong to purchase the pepper on sale at Zabar's, Fairway or Dean and Deluca? I'm serious - am I really better off buying on-line?

I think turnover is the most important factor. Any place that move a lot of spices should be OK.

But not all of us have access to NYC retailers, so sometimes on-line is better.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Yeah yeah Tellicherry...from Penzey's, for years now. Years ago I remember buying them from Cost + Imports and they were absolutely unremarkable.

I'm with Margaret on the fruitiness, too. And then a whole new level when I used 'em in a whole-spice rice preparation from Suvir over in India. They really were like fruit! Highly spicy little fruits, but still.

And if you should happen to have guests of Dutch origin at your table, I swear, they will empty the grinder in the course of a single meal, if the pepper pops, so be prepared for that.

Priscilla

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My maternal grandmother hardly ever used cayenne. Telicherry pepper was her spice to add heat and flavor to most dishes.

My grandfather cannot tolerate chile heat. :shock:

And she loved spicy foods, but never cooked with it at home.

She came to our home (that of my paternal grandma) to enjoy spicy dishes.

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I use tellecherry and also a Vietnamese black peppercorn that I get at Kalustyan's -- it has a smoky flavor. I also have a white peppercorn called penja pepper (pearl of cameroon), also from Kaluystan's, that's amazing.

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I'm with all of you Tellicherry fans -- they can't be beat for flavor and distintive fruity taste. Like all spices, they do grow stale over time, so just be sure that where ever you purchase them has good turnover -- Penzey's has always been a favorite of mine!

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