Cubebe pepper – nicknamed ‘tailed pepper’ thanks the little stalks attached – has been traded by Arab merchants as far back as the 7th century. It was widely used in European cuisine from the 16th to 18th century, before being lost to history and trade embargos. The most cubebe pepper is now grown on tropical vines in Indonesia, near Java and Sumatra.
Cubebe pepper has sweet-nutmeg, biscuity aromas – but big eucalyptus flavours, with a cold spiciness and a long finish. This fragrant pepper brings a fresh, powerful and lemony tang which concords well with braised endives and brings out delicate subtleties from a roast leg of lamb. It can also be a delicious and unexpected touch when it is added to cantaloupe or to chocolate cake.