Thursday, August 24, 2006

Szechuan Peppercorns

Okay, so I'm not actually celebrating my birthday today. I've had a very bad week so I'm postponing my birthday until Saturday. However, I had to share one gift that I received in the mail today.

My husband was very smart this year and got me gifts from my Amazon wish list rather than trying to surprise me with gifts I don't want. I know, that sounds terrible but he has a habit of getting me things I don't like even though I make it easy for him by always giving him several options. So this year I made a long list on Amazon so that he felt like it was more of a surprise.

I'm so happy because my first gift arrived today: Szechuan peppercorns! Not just szechuan peppercorns; 1 POUND of them!

1lb. Szechuan Peppercorns

Aren't they beautiful!?! I can't wait to use them. They smell like heaven and make me feel like I now own a pound of some illegal substance rather than a spice. Nothing beats that "ma la" (tongue-numbing spicy) high. No drugs for me, thank you. Just szechuan peppercorns!

So expect to see more dishes with this spice in it. If you can't find them at your local Asian market (I couldn't) then you can buy a smaller amount from Dean and Deluca and other retailers via Amazon. Mine are from J.R. Mushrooms & Specialties.

Note: Szechuan Peppercorns are not actually a pepper. They are dried ash berries from a tree that is a member of the citrus family. From 1968 until 2005 they were illegal in the U.S. since they carried a citrus canker virus. Now they are legal but must be heat-treated to kill the canker virus before being sent to the U.S.

9 comments:

honkman said...

You can find the peppercorns at 99 Ranch Market

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday, Kady! I hope you had a fabulous day today.

Gabriella True said...

ooh. I never knew what they were!

Happy Birthday!!

Gourmetish said...

Thanks Jennifer and Gabriella! Oh, honkman, do you really think I haven't looked at 99 Ranch Market? I have scoured the place. So they must have been hiding every time I went. I looked under every possible name. Anyway, I won't feel bad for having my husband order them because these are good quality szechuan peppercorns and it's a whole pound! Very exciting.

Kirk said...

Hi Kady - Happy Birthday! I too found Sichuan Peppercorns at 99 Ranch Market.....

Justin Scribner said...

well i for one ain't never heard of them, so i hope my ignorance makes you feel smarter on your birthday!

honkman said...

They are in the same aisle as all the other spices, on the right side if you are coming from cashier on the bottom row. They are named "Sze Chuan Pepper" (114 g or 4 Oz). But I guess your whole pound will last for some time :)

Alice Q said...

Congratulations on your peppercorns Kady - and happy birthday! I hope your week wasn't TOO bad!!

Anonymous said...

The best local deal for Szechuan peppercorns I've found locally is a huge restaurant-supply size bag at:
T & L Foods 7373 Engineer Rd, Ste A, San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 571-5328
-for a few bucks. They supply most of the restaurants on Convoy. The spices are down & to the right as you enter past the counter.