Kampot Pepper: A very special spice
It is an indispensable part of the refined dishes of the Farmhouse Resort’s kitchen. The world-famous Kampot pepper can be ground particularly well and stylishly with the pepper mills from our carpentry workshop. But what actually makes the pepper so special? We set out to find the reasons.
Pepper has been cultivated in Cambodia since the 13th century. However, intensive pepper cultivation only began in the 1970s. As a result of the Thirty Years’ War between the Netherlands and the Sultan of Aceh, the previous pepper production from Indonesia was outsourced to other parts of Southeast Asia.
A large part of it in the province of Kampot, that region of Cambodia to which the pepper still owes its name today. Handel flourished. The main customer was France, in its colonial area Kampot Feld.
In the 1960s there were around a million pepper plants in the region. 15 years later it was practically zero because the now ruling Khmer Rouge gave up the pepper fields in order to use the acreage for the cultivation of rice and other vegetables. The Kampot pepper disappeared from the world market and fell into oblivion.
Pepper has been cultivated again under strict guidelines since the 1990s. The designation of origin is protected and therefore real Kampot pepper may only be grown and harvested on the heavy, mineral clay soils in the Kampot and Kep regions. An exclusivity that is reflected in the price. At up to $180 per kilo, this pepper is one of the most expensive in the world.
BLACK, RED OR PREFERABLY WHITE?
Black, red, and white pepper are harvested from the same plant. The difference lies in the time of harvest and thus in the degree of ripeness of the peppercorns and further processing after harvesting. The aroma of Black Kampot Pepper is intense with an elegant, fresh taste that is slightly reminiscent of mint. Red, it is fully ripe and tastes a bit sharper with a sweet, fruity note. In addition, white pepper is obtained from the fully ripe red peppercorns. Here, after soaking overnight, the pulp is removed so that it consists only of the hard fruit core, which is then dried in the sun for 2 to 3 days. It is slightly spicy, with hints of citrus, mace and cedar. So fine.