Pseudo peppers are often referred to as 'false' peppers in other languages. In French the term 'faux poivre' is used in English 'false pepper'. Strangely enough, the term pepper has been hijacked by two plant species, the Piperaceae, of which black pepper (piper nigrum) is the best known species, and the Capsaiceae, the chili peppers. By pseudo-peppers we mean all spices that are used in the same way as 'pepper' because of their pungency.
Pseudo peppers are the standard in various countries, such as in Japan, where black pepper and chili pepper lose out to the Szechuan pepper, such as sansho. In South America, the chili pepper is the standard. In Europe, some of the traditionally used peppers have been completely forgotten, such as long pepper, corn of paradise and selim. And in Africa, Asian spices, including black pepper, displace the native 'pseudo peppers'.
The essential differences between the botanically different peppers concern both taste and sharpness. Only peppers from the Piperaceae family contain the pungent substance piperine, and only chili pepper capsaicin. Their experience is very different. They appeal to our acuity receptors in very diverse ways. Like sanshool, the pungent substance in the peppers of the Zanthoxylum genus (Szechuan peppers) does not give us a burning sensation - like chili pepper - but numbs our tongue very locally.
We take you on a world trip with our pseudo peppers that is well worth the effort.