The long pepper from Indonesia despite having a very different appearance from peppercorns is actually very closely related from a botanical point of view, it shares the aroma that is very similar but in a less aggressive form, it is less spicy.

The plant and the fruit

Many spices are also called false peppers because despite having a similar appearance to that of classic black peppercorns, they actually come from plants that are not even distant relatives. The long pepper is a completely opposite case, the elongated berries have a very different appearance from the classic pepper but the scientific name of the plant: Piper longum root the close botanical relationship, in fact it belongs to the same family (Piperaceae) and to the same genus (Piper) of the Piper Nigrum. The plant is a climbing shrub.

How the long pepper from Indonesia is obtained

The fruits of Piper longum are tiny dots that are grouped on a spike inflorescence, the entire inflorescence (length 2-3 cm) is collected before ripening and put when it dries, it darkens and acquires an appearance similar to some varieties of chilli.

Place of origin and history

The plant is native to Indonesia as the title suggests and is widespread from Tibet to southern China. The first mentions in the West are found in the Greek world. In Ayurveda both its uses as a medicine and dietary ones are described, while Hippocrates mentions it only as a medicine. But we know that long pepper was actually known and used as a spice by both the Greeks and the Romans. The Romans considered them equivalent and referred to both as pepper, so much so as to mislead Pliny the Elder who believed they came from the same plant even though others before him had correctly described them as coming from different plants. Long pepper will remain in vogue in the Western world until the discovery of America, after which it will be abandoned in favor of chilli, similar in appearance and easier to grow. In modern Western cuisine it is practically unknown and has only recently been rediscovered with an interest in exotic cuisines, instead it is widely used in the cuisine of the Asian countries where it is widespread and in North Africa.

Properties of the long pepper from Indonesia

Repeating is beneficial and therefore as in all the sheets on pepper we repeat that talking about nutritional values ​​would not make sense given the amount of spice that is used in the kitchen. As for the properties, long pepper contains more piperine than common black pepper, the effects are therefore those of piperine but to a greater extent. The piperine is a dilator vessel, according to traditional medicine the long pepper would have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties like almost all peppers (true or false) but more pronounced and also anti-allergic and anti-asthma properties. What does science say? Several studies have documented its use in traditional medicine, especially with regard to respiratory diseases and the action regarding asthma would seem at least partially confirmed in studies on models.

Long pepper curiosity

Some forest tribes in Malaysia used it as an ingredient to make arrow poison.

Long pepper is part of the herbal remedies of traditional Chinese medicine.

Trikatu is an Ayurvedic preparation made up of black pepper, long pepper and ginger that would help digestion and metabolism.

Long pepper in the kitchen

You may have noticed an inconsistency, we have defined the taste of long pepper as less aggressive or yet we have also written that it is richer in peperine (much more rich) of black pepper. How is it possible? In fact, the taste of long pepper, defined by many as delicate, is also described as warm and decisive, so it is anything but a "mushy" spice. However, its spiciness, despite the higher piperine content, is generally perceived as less pungent than that of black pepper. It is used on both meats and vegetables , it is often used with poultry but can also be used on red meats, excellent in combination with cheeses, there is no lack of whimsical uses such as with ice cream or with jam . And speaking of jam, we chose the recipe for a tart

Semi-wholemeal tart with strawberry and pepper compote Mongo

Ingredients for a 24 / 26cm diameter tart:

  • 200g of 00 flour
  • 200gr of wholemeal flour
  • 200g of butter
  • 200g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • a few drops of natural vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 kg of strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 2/3 berries of Bengal long pepper


Preparation of the pastry:

1) Work the two flours with the cold butter cut into cubes, sugar, salt and vanilla until crumbled.

2) Add the eggs, working quickly until the dough is smooth and homogeneous.

3) Divide the dough into two parts (one larger than the other).

4) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the pastry is compact and workable.

5) While waiting for the pastry in the refrigerator to be ready, wash the strawberries and cut them into not too small pieces.

6) Put the strawberries on the stove together with the brown sugar and lemon juice.

7) Cook over low heat until the compote has set, creating a syrupy and thick base.

8) When the compote is ready, add the cinnamon and long grated pepper (adjust the dose of pepper according to your tastes). Let it cool down.

9) Roll out the pastry (the largest part) and line a previously greased and floured cake pan.

10) Prick the bottom with the tines of a fork and distribute the compote over it.

11) With the other piece of pastry cut the border (which you can then engrave or twist to your liking) and the cords that will form the classic grid of the tart.

12) Bake at 180 ° for about 30-40 minutes, until the pastry is well cooked and golden.

Tip: Once out of the oven and left to cool, you could serve the strawberry long pepper tart still warm with some vanilla ice cream!

Recipe source: Ilgattoghiotto.i


Data sheet


Specific References

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