Corn of paradise (pods)
Corn of paradise (pods)
Paradise Grain is a spicy type of pepper, popular in West African and Surinamese cuisine. The tiny seeds are contained in a seed pod embedded in a jelly-like fluid. The jelly is completely absent after drying.
We supply paradise grain in peeled form and as a fruit box - to peel yourself. This unpeeled fruit keeps the fine seeds super fresh.
This (pseudo) pepper from Ghana is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), and is also known by names such as Guinea pepper and malaguetta pepper. It has been an important spice in West African and Surinamese cuisine for centuries.
The plant, like all gingers, grows in a warm, moist environment and likes some shade. The rhizome (rhizome) grows just below the ground. The plant grows to about 2 meters high and has elongated and pointed leaves, like bamboo. Trumpet-like flowers form close to the ground, appearing to emerge directly from the ground, but standing on peduncles. They are 15 cm long and light purple and soon fall off to make way for large reddish-brown pods (10 cm). These contain red-brown seeds in a jelly-like liquid, the grain of paradise.
It takes three years for sown plants to produce a useful crop. From then on, it can be harvested for four consecutive years. The pods are picked when they are ripe. Only a modest part is sold fresh, the lion's share is left to dry in the sun.
Grain of paradise tastes stronger and is sharper than regular pepper due to the ketone paradol, an antioxidant that is only found in these peppers, and in ginger..
The grain of paradise is closely related to other African pepper plants, the Aframomum danielli, whose seeds are called mbongo herb or alligator pepper, and the very rare Aframomum angustifolium, the Madagascar cardamom. Grain of paradise is rarely sold unshelled, as a rule only the loose seeds are available.
Smell and taste
Grain of paradise is a spice that smells of forest and wet wood. It tastes sharp at first, then pleasant citrus notes and notes of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (a distant relative) come to the fore. The aftertaste is pleasant. Some of the flavor and fragrance defining essential oils in paradise grain are:
- -paradol, the dominant pungent substance, is also found in ginger,
- -gingerol, better known as the pungency of ginger, converted to -shoagol when dried, twice as sharp as gingerol
- β-caryophyllene, sweet spicy and woody
- linalyl acetate, responsible for a pleasant citrus, bergamot and lavender scent,
- sabineen, responsible for the woody, camphor-like taste of, among other things, black pepper and nutmeg
- β-myrcene, spicy aroma, with notes of fruits (mango, grape, peach) and mint,
- α-caryophyllene (humulene), hops, as in beer and cannabis
- d-limonene, responsible for the citrus aromas,
After opening the seed pod, the grains are ground just like peppercorns - in the pepper mill or in the mortar. A good ras el hanout contains paradise grain, which in Morocco is called 'gouza sahraouia'. In many versions of ras-el-hanout, it is now replaced by cubeb pepper, or black pepper. Grain of paradise is on the rise again, not only in African cuisines, but also in beers, spirits and European cuisine.
Grain of paradise is delicious with lamb dishes, zucchini, potatoes and aubergine.
- 100% fruits of the Aframomum meleguetta (unpeeled)
- origin: Cameroon
- available in glass, stand-up pouch and test tube
- glass jar contains 45 grams
- stand up pouches with a content of up to 30 to 500 grams
- available peeled in 10 ml test tube
- larger quantities on request
- the jar is available in a tasteful gift box, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
- for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the gift packaging section
- grind the pepper at the last minute to maximize the aroma
- keep the pepper in a dark, dry and cool place
- store your paradise grain in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before February 2026 (02/26)
- this best before date is an indication
Would you like to know what paradise grain tastes like?