Szechuan pepper is indigenous to the Szechwan province of China. Although it bears a few resemblance to black peppercorns, it is not of the pepper family, however the dried berry of the tree is of the rue family. It is aromatic as well as utilized in herbal remedies, however only the pipertium variety of the East is wonderful for cooking.
Szechuan pepper is still fairly unusual in the West, therefore it might be beneficial when searching for it to be familiar with a few of the other common names and spellings because of it: Sichuan pepper, Szechwan pepper and fagara to name a few.
Szechuan peppercorns are rust coloured along with hair-thin stems and open ends. The dried berries look like tiny beechnuts measuring 4 – 5 mm in diameter.
In Japan the leaves are utilized as spice – the ground dried leaves are referred to as sansho and also the whole leaves, kinome, are fresh, vacuum-packed or pickled.
Health Benefits of Szechuan Pepper:
The berries are carminative and anti-spasmodic. The powdered bark is used as a toothache remedy and to heal wounds. The bark and berries are stimulative and used as a blood purifier and digestive.