This is Terre Exotique’s MUST HAVE for your peppermill! Penja white pepper with its animal notes and aromas of menthol has truly outstanding distinctive flavours.
Penja white pepper: a grand cru pepper!
An amazing pepper which grows in the heart of Cameroon
Penja white pepper is enchanting with its powerful tastes and woody aroma. It is the fruit of a giant creeper: Piper nigrum. It grows up trees with rough, cracked bark which helps it grip on and climb up often as high as four metres. It is pollinated by the rain, which is frequent in the region of Moungo. The rich and fertile volcanic soils of Cameroon give Penja pepper its truly remarkable aromas and highly concentrated essential oils.
How is Penja
white pepper obtained?
pepper is picked when fully ripe, washed, its pulp removed, then
dried in the sun in the province of Moungo in Cameroon. All the production stages
(harvest, retting, washing, drying, sorting) are entirely carried out by the expert
hands of the local village women. Unlike other colours of pepper, white pepper
is picked when fully ripe. It is then washed thoroughly and dried to remove its
pericarp. This is what gives it its strong flavour.
Penja pepper is certainly a renowned gastronomic
star worldwide! In 2014, it was the first product from the African continent to
gain Indication Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. A well-deserved
recognition for this precious pepper.
Where does Penja pepper come from?
In search of peppers and spices…
The conquest of pepper is linked to the exploration of India, Africa and the New World as it was when Christopher Columbus set out in search of pepper that he discovered … America! Also, when the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama reached India in 1498, the merchants asked him why he had sailed so far. His reply was “I come in search of Christians and spices!”. This is when pepper, “pippali” in sanskrit and “piper” in latin was discovered. It is believed that the first pepper creepers probably came from the West coast of India and more specifically the Malabar coast. They apparently grew in the wild more than 4,000 years ago!
What is the difference between white, black and green peppers?
Whether green, black or white, pepper comes from the same fruit, harvested at different stages of maturity. Green pepper is harvested before fully ripe, and releases fresh, lemony notes. Black pepper is picked just before it ripens then dried in the sun. Its aromas are full-bodied and spicy. White pepper is picked when fully ripe, washed, the pericarp removed, unlike black pepper which keeps its pericarp. It has a more powerful and complex aromatic range!
Penja pepper - a well-kept traditional expertise
Penja pepper is one of last introductions of Piper nigrum outside its endemic Indian origin. The first pepper plants were planted in Penja in the 1930’s by Mr. Decré, a banana plantation owner. The annual worldwide production is very small-scale, only amounting to 18 tonnes. The harvest remains traditional, always done by hand and none of the cleaning, drying or sorting methods have changed for generations. All this makes Penja pepper a rare and precious treasure in line with its amazing flavour.