Re: [CH] Szechuan spice

Rich McCormack (
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 05:58:41 -0700

Ashkenaz, Scott wrote:
> A work acquaintance dropped off an odd spice. His parents brought it from
> China, and he claims that it is a spice "very characteristic of Szechuan
> cooking."
> It looks like a reddish/pinkish peppercorn, but split and softer. The flavor
> is described differently by several people, including things like sweet,
> sour, bitter, flowery, intense. But all have one thing in common:  it seems
> to numb the tongue and lips for about 10 minutes, with some people
> describing a tingling sensation.

The flavors you mention (at least a couple from my point of view) 
and the tingling sensation you describe would be descriptive of 
Sichuan Peppercorns.  I'd describe their color being more of a 
reddish-brown, but I think we're talking about the same thing.

Rich McCormack (Poway, CA)

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