Long pepper is a potent variety of pepper, distinguished by its catkin-like shape and size. It has dry wood aromas, with strong eucalyptus flavours in the mouth – delicious with red meat in particular, and good at holding its own in strongly-flavoured dishes like a curry or a tagine.
Long pepper can be finely crushed in a spice grinder, cracked in a pestle and mortar or added whole to sauces to infuse its flavours. This is no delicate seasoning, but it can be mellowed – either by cooking in a stew, tagine or curry – or simply by toasting in a dry pan before grinding. It’s often the pepper of choice in sweet recipes, for poaching pears or even making ‘long pepper cream’.