According to some, Cambodian red long pepper has the same aromaticity and floral scents as Kampot red pepper according to others, it is very similar to Indian piper longum, actually both are true.

The plant and the fruit

The Cambodian red long pepper is the fruit of a plant called piper retrofractum which is one of the very numerous (between 1000 and 2000) species of the piper genus in the piperaceae family. Piper retrofractum is similar in both appearance and taste to piper longum originating from India. It is a climbing plant, like many other plants of the piper genus. The plant, which is also known as the Javanese long pepper, develops stems between 2 and 4 meters in length, i.e. oval, elongated (10-12 cm in length, 3-3.5 in width) and with sharp ends.

Characteristics of Cambodian long red pepper

As written in the introduction to say that Cambodian red long pepper is reminiscent of the most famous Kampot red pepper and to say that it is similar to Indian long pepper is not in contradiction: the first statement it is made plausible by the fact, repeatedly mentioned that the taste of pepper as well as that of wine and oil is profoundly influenced by the soil and climatic conditions; the second statement is made plausible by the close relationship and botanical similarity between piper longum and piper retrofractum.
Compared to Kampot red pepper it is certainly less spicy, more aromatic and fruity and sweeter , so much so that favor the paired with chocolate and sweets , this is because the fruit is picked when fully ripe.

Curiosities about red long pepper

Long pepper was the first type of this spice to arrive in Europe, even at the time of Alexander the Great, later it was supplanted by black pepper. The natural ripening process carried out on plants is a considerable challenge for producers, in fact letting the fruits reach full ripeness on the pints exposes them to various dangers, not least that of being damaged on the plants, so the secret is to grasp the moment, that is, as soon as it reaches the right point of ripeness, harvest it as quickly as possible, so much so that the farmers who work small plots in this area help each other with their neighbors for the harvest.

Long red pepper in the kitchen

The Cambodian Red Long Pepper is really very versatile it goes well with condiments based on meat, game and poultry but also with grilled vegetables or stewed . On the other hand, the relatively sweet taste also favors pairings with desserts, especially those with the presence of chocolate, but also the use in the preparation of strawberry sorbets and ice creams.
Among the recipes on the net we have chosen desserts, a vegan recipe that replaces the sugar date puree, with the double advantage of recovering dates that are past or not of excellent quality and to constitute a sweet snack that can be brought around and last for several days.
In the original recipe, pepper is called long Java pepper which is another of the common names by which the spice obtained from the fruit of piper retrofractum is known.

Soft bars with red fruits and cocoa beans
Ingredients for 10 bars

  • Pitted dates 200gr
  • Orange juice 200gr
  • Tonka bean (grated) about 1/2 berry
  • Cambodia long pepper (grated) about 1/2 berry
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Dried red fruits (strawberries, black cherries and blueberries) 150gr
  • Small oat flakes (possibly just break normal flakes) 150gr
  • Granulated cocoa beans 50gr Sesame seeds 50gr


1) Line a 20x20 cm square mold with parchment paper and bring the oven to 180 °. 2) Put the dates in a small pot together with the orange juice. Add the tonka bean, Cambodian long pepper, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

3) Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often and making sure all dates are softened. Turn off the heat and blend the mixture until you get a thick and sticky puree.

4) Coarsely chop the red fruits and place them in a bowl with the oat flakes, cocoa beans and sesame.

5) Add the date cream and mix first with a spoon and finally with your hands, squeezing well until the mixture is homogeneous and moist; the result will be very sticky, so if you want to avoid getting dirty use a disposable glove 6) Taste the mixture and adjust the spices if necessary.

7) Spread the mixture in the pan into a compact layer, pressing and leveling with the back of a spoon or with the help of a tarot.

8) Bake for 30 minutes or until the surface turns golden and the edges begin to slightly darken.

9) Leave to cool in the mold, then cut out 10 bars using a sharp knife.

The bars can be kept for about two weeks in a tin box, individually wrapped with parchment paper. Recipe source:


Data sheet


Specific References

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