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Cambodia's Kampot pepper has a kick

by: Tina Danze
Dallas Morning News; Guide Daily
May 27, 2009

Kampot peppercorns impart a complex, foral-spice note and a touch more intensity on the back end than run-of-the-mill black pepper. The spice was prized by France's top chefs during French colonial rule of Cambodia, but its production ceased in the '70s when the Khmer Rouge forced landowners from their properties and destroyed the felds.

In the past seven years, the Kampot region's pepper plantations have been revived. Dallas-based Royal Pepper Co. - a partnership between David Biggs and Chantara Sok, a Cambodian native - is now importing the peppercorns for sale to home cooks as well as chefs. The organic pepper is conveniently sold in a 2-ounce refllable pepper grinder ($7.99) at Rex's Seafood Market (5200 W. Lovers Lane; 214-351-6363) and Spiceman's F.M. 14-10 (14-10 N. Fitzhugh, near Bryan; 214-828-0322). You can also buy 4--ounce bags of the peppercorns for $ 7.99; the company's Web site sells larger bags. Royal Pepper Co. also sells Cambodian sea salt and palm sugar at Rex's Seafood and online. Check out the very educational Web site for more information about Kampot products or to order online: www.royalpepper company.com.

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