Collection: A selection of 'szechuan peppers'

Zanthoxylum is the Yellowwood genus, a plant genus that is not only known for its beautiful yellow wood, but especially for the Szechuan pepper, to which Chinese Szechuan cuisine owes its spicy reputation.

The term Sichuan pepper is not exclusively used for the Chinese pepper berries, but also for the berries that grow elsewhere, including those of other plants from this plant genus, some of which are also used culinary. 

All plants - shrubs and trees - in the genus Zanthoxylum have in common that they are abundantly provided with 'spines'. Some species even have leaves on which spines grow. On the trunk the spines are often woody and corky, sometimes of enormous size, and not at all sharp, but on the branches they are vicious, which makes harvesting the berries quite a challenge. 

The plants owe the ambiguous name toothache tree to the combination of the external relationship of the spines on the trunk to molars, and to the fact that the berries are traditionally used as an anesthetic, including against toothache, and are also used in toothpaste.

Below are the varieties whose dried berries we sell in our store. We give the Chinese name of each species, if available:

Zanthoxylum acantapodium - andaliman - 毛剌花椒 máo là huā jiāo

Zanthoxylum armatum - raye timur - 刺花椒 cì huā jiāoma

Zanthoxylum piperitum - sanshō - 日本花椒 rìběn huājiāo - expiring product !

Zanthoxylum bungeanum - flower pepper - 花椒 huājiāo

Zanthoxylum rhetsa/limonella - (Indian) mountain pepper - 胡椒木 hújiāo mù

Zanthoxylum piperitum - Szechuan fagara pepper - ma jiāo

Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides - igi ata 

The Indian mountain pepper is better known as ma khaen, mac khen or trpihal, in Laos, Vietnam and India respectively.

Een keur van 'szechuanpepers'