The long pepper has been used for centuries in Mediterranean African Indian and Indonesian cooking although it has almost fallen into obscurity in the past few hundred years. The long pepper comes from a flowering vine with large catkin flowers. Within each flower are small black spikes that are the actual pepper. The taste is very similar to regular black pepper and it is a relative of the species piper nigrum but with a much hotter taste and an almost earthy sweet overtone. It has been reported that Attila the Hun demanded part of the ransom for his sacking of Rome to be paid in long peppers. One of the most notable uses is as an ingredient in herbal medicine includes adding long pepper with ginger and black pepper in a popular base ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine called Trikatu. As a stand alone medicinal herb it has been used for treating coughs colds fevers and a variety of stomach ailments. |
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