| (Sichuan pepper)
One of the signature tastes of Asia and India. Not a true pepper but the berry of a tree native to the subtropics and commonly used in cooking throughout Asia. The taste is a pleasantly pungent combination of lemony citrus and pepper. Szechuan pepper contains hydroxy-alpha-sanshool, which creates tingling and numbness in the mouth. It freshens and excites the palate, unlocking the complex flavours of Indian and Asian cuisine. The seed itself is not used, as it gives food a gritty texture; instead, the dried husks are ground and added to recipes including shrimp, chicken, beef and fish. Szechuan pepper is a component of both Chinese Five Spice Powder and Japanese Shichimi.