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Black Sarawak pepper GI

Black Sarawak pepper GI

Normal price €5,60 EUR
Normal price Offer price €5,60 EUR
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Sarawak pepper is sometimes called the Queen of the peppers. The cultivar Kuching, named after the capital of Sarawak, has long been the main pepper variety, but like many agricultural products, the Sarawak pepper is also 'in development'.

Geographical indication GI (Malaysia)

It may sound critical to describe the Sarawak pepper as a pepper in development, because this traditional pepper can count on a loyal Asian audience. No less than three quarters of Sarawak's harvest finds its way to Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and other Asian countries. Sarawak pepper is the standard for Japan anyway, but if we can believe the Malaysia Pepper Board, it is also King Elizabeth's favorite pepper.

Pepper cultivation in Sarawak was started three centuries ago by settlers from China, a country without a pepper tradition.

If black pepper is the king of spices, many authors believe, Sarawak pepper is the queen. It is curious that the Sarawak has a reputation for being rare and growing in the pristine environment of tropical forests. Sarawak does have an indigenous pepper, but that is the Piper sarmentosum, of which not the berries but the leaves are eaten. The reality is that pepper cultivation in Sarawak, although organized on a small scale, is extremely professional.

About 85% of the 67,000 households that earn their living with Sarawak pepper belong to the indigenous Ibans and Bidayuhs.

Sarawak pepper has Malaysian Geographical Indication (GI), which is overseen by MyIPO, which is under the Malaysian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Kuching is the classic Sarawak cultivar, the emerging cultivars 'Semongok perak' and 'Semongok emas'

The Sarawak vines are planted in a grid in the open field, often without shade, and are pruned several times a year to maximize yield. No greater contrast can be imagined than with the cultivation of premium peppers from Kerala, which, in addition to being cultivated in combination cultivation, are generally damaged and not pruned.

The Sarawak peppers are harvested between March and August. More than three quarters of the pepper berries are harvested unripe and processed into black pepper. The ripe berries are mainly processed into white pepper.

Why not organic?

The reason for that is quite simple. To meet strict international standards, small family businesses must make prohibitively large investments. Even though there is the option of micro-credit, this has not proven to be a feasible option for most family businesses. About ten years ago the Board started to promote organic cultivation, but for the reasons mentioned above it has still not gained much traction.


The increase in scale stimulated by the government poses a serious threat to the survival of small-scale pepper. This is also under fire from producers of palm oil and pineapple, who do not indulge their hunger for space only in the rainforest.

Smell and taste

Black Sarawak smells spicier than it tastes. In addition to the aroma of wet wood, you will recognize fruit (citrus) and cocoa.


Sarawak is used in Malaysian dishes such as Sarawak laksa - the Chinese influence - and curries and coarsely ground over your grilled steak. But also in stir-fry dishes with light spring vegetables and in desserts with soft red fruit.


  • 100% pepper berries of the Piper nigrum var kuching
  • protected by the Malaysian PGI label (international: PGI)
  • origin: Kuching region, Sarawak (Malaysia)


  • available in glass, stand-up pouch and test tube
  • glass jar contains 75 grams
  • stand-up pouches with a capacity of up to 30 to 500 grams
  • available in 10 ml test tube
  • larger quantities on request

Gift packaging

  • the jar is available in a tasteful gift packaging, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
  • for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the gift packaging section

General advice

  • grind your pepper shortly before use
  • add the ground pepper to your preparation at the very last minute


  • store your sarawak pepper in closed packaging
  • preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
  • best before September 2025 (09/25)
  • this expiration date is an indication

Try ?

Would you like to know what Sarwak tastes like? You can also try a test tube with enough pepper to understand the flavor essence of this pepper.

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