Sansho powder - Sanshō no kona
Sansho powder - Sanshō no kona
This finely ground, light green sanshō or sansho pepper - sanshō-no-kona or 七味唐辛子 - is of superior quality. It is ground in the authentic way using millstones in the Kaneichi family business.
This company has been producing and processing sanshō, the Japanese pepper, since the end of the nineteenth century. Grinding is traditionally done in successive courses, from coarse to (very) fine.
Sanshō is related to the Chinese Szechuan pepper and the Nepalese timur, but unlike these two brothers or sisters from the Geelhout genus (Zanthoxylum), the leaves, flowers and shoots of the sanshō tree are also eaten. By the way, Sanshō means mountain pepper.
Sanshō pepper has been used as a spice for thousands of years, it is believed, because there is no conclusive evidence for this. It was called naruhajika during the Nara era in the 8th century, and used as a medicine to treat diarrhea. For a long time it would mainly be used as medicine. It was not until the Kamakura era (1185 to 1333 AD) that it was used again as a spice by the samurai during hunting. From that time dates unagi, a dish of freshwater eel with sanshō pepper.
It is now a prominent spice, one of the few spices in Japanese cuisine. The unripe green berries are called sanshō-no-mi. These are sharper and more aromatic than the red sansho. The first green sanshōs appear on the market from May, the red ones in October. Sansho powder is therefore made in the summer months.
One of the first preparations with sanshō ever was described in the Okusa cookbook from the 15th century. An eel dish sprinkled with very finely ground sanshō. Since then, eel has always been prepared with sanshō in Japan or, in extreme cases, with shichimi tõgarashi (seven-spice powder).
Our sanshō pepper is grown - not wild - and comes from Wakayama, the beating sanshō heart of Japan since the late 19th century. They are grown by the fourth generation of the Kaneichi family business, founded in 1880 by Yamamoto Katsunosuke, and is considered the best 'house'. The seeds are removed before grinding, hence the beautiful green colour.
The unique sharpness experience of sanshol
Typical for all Zanthoxylum peppers, and therefore also for sanshō, is the tingling you experience on the tip of your tongue due to a substance in the pepper called sanshool, named after the Japanese spice. The sharpness is caused by the amides in the skin of the fruit: α-, β-, γ- and δ-sanshool, α hidroxy sanshool and β-hidroxy sanshool. γ sanshool and α hidroxy sanshool are mainly responsible for the narcotic effect. The amount of α-hidroxy-sanshool in the berries can amount to (more than) 50 ‰ of the dry weight, of γ sanshool around 5 ‰.
The tingling is accompanied by a slight numbness, jokingly compared to tasting a 9-volt battery. A single berry is enough to experience that! This somatosensation, stimulation by touch, has been used as an anesthetic in traditional medicine in Asia for centuries. Its operation is very complex and the subject of extensive studies. Hydroxy-α-sanshol in particular is said to cause the tingling sensation, and there are certain parallels with the pungency experience of capsaicin, the pungent substance in chili pepper, but also with menthol and mustard oil.
Smell and taste
Sanshō is a member of the citrus family, which you experience in a scent that is a mixture of grapefruit, lemon, sereh and rosewood. In between you taste and smell - very lightly - mint. Characteristic of all Zanthoxylum peppers, and therefore also of sanshō, is the tingling that you experience on the tip of your tongue due to a substance in the pepper called sanshool, named after the Japanese spice.
- linalyl acetate, responsible for a pleasant citrus, bergamot and lavender scent,
- limonene, the scent of lemon peel,
- citral, the scent of grapefruit,
- geraniol, rose fragrance,
- geranyl acetate, lavender fragrance
- β-pinene, pine resin, en
- linalol, responsible for the scents of rosewood and coriander
A ripe berry contains considerably more linalol, geraniol and geranyl acetate than a green berry. The aromas develop during maturation,
Ground sanshō pepper combines excellently with citrus (kafir leaf, yuzu or sereh), chocolate (dessert), mango and strawberry. Be sure to try it with fish tartare, squid, eel of course (unagi) and shells (scallops), but also with yakitori (grilled chicken), beef tartare and carpaccio. Do you make your own mayonnaise? Add some sansho powder to it. It will make him even richer. Delicious with smoked dishes, from sausages to salmon (danobe), with fried chicken and as a dip for (raw) vegetables. If you don't make your own mayonnaise, try Japanese Kewpie instead.
When mixed with salt, sanshō no kona is also an excellent seasoning for tempura.
- 100% unripe fruit of the Zanthoxylum piperitum (sanshō)
- sharpened using millstone
- origin: Wakayama, Japan
- only available in pouch (no test tubes)
- 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 category gift packaging
- sanshō powder is a product for the refined kitchen, can be used both cold and hot in savory and sweet preparations
- do not cook the powder, it loses its wonderful taste
- keep your sansho powder in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before June 2023 (06/23)
- this best before date is an indication