Kampot peppercorns—native to the Kampot, Province on the southern coast of Cambodia—have long been treasured for their full-bodied flavor, distinctive aroma and long, lingering heat. These particular peppercorns are the first product in Cambodia to receive a Protected Geographical Indication (similar to protections extended to Champagne and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese).
Angkor Food's Black Pearls (Salted Kampot Pepper) start with green Kampot peppercorns that are grown using organic practices and harvested by hand before their reach maturity. The green peppercorns are packed in salt and cured—a process similar to Sicilian salt-packed capers—preserving their bright, peppery heat and delicate floral flavor. The salt-curing process darkens the peppercorns green hue to black and also gives them a nuanced brininess, soft minerality and crunchy pop-in-your-mouth texture.
How to use
Both fresh and dried Kampot peppercorns are an integral ingredient in traditional Cambodian dishes and are often paired with seafood in the coastal region where they are grown. One of the most popular regional dishes is Kampot Pepper Crab, but these powerful peppercorns are also beautiful paired with shellfish of all kinds. Try coating head-on prawns with cornstarch and pan-frying. Drain and toss with a spoonful of Black Pearls, a thinly sliced red Fresno pepper and a handful of torn fresh basil leaves.
These one-of-a-kind peppercorns are just as versatile as they are delicious. Use salted Kampot pepper anywhere you want a burst of peppery heat and a little crunch—sprinkle over slices of flame-kissed skirt steak, add a finishing flourish to pizza as it is coming out of the oven (Cacio e pepe pizza, anyone?) or even over a baked potato loaded with butter and sour cream.