Black Sarawak Pepper GI
Black Sarawak Pepper GI
Sarawak pepper is called the Queen of 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 'under 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. For Japan, Sarawak pepper is the standard anyway, but if we are to 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.
When 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, where not the berries but the leaves are eaten. The reality is that the cultivation of pepper in Sarawak, although organized on a small scale, is highly professional.
About 85% of the 67. 000 households that earn their living with the Sarawak pepper belong to the indigenous Ibans and Bidayuhs.
Sarawak pepper has a Malaysian Geographical Indication (GI), which is overseen by MyIPO, which falls under the Malaysian Ministry of Economy. Kuching is the classic Sarawak cultivar, the cultivars 'Semongok perak' and 'Semongok emas' are emerging
The Sarawak vines are planted in a grid in the open field, often without shade, and are pruned several times a year to maximize the yield. No greater contrast can be imagined than with the cultivation of the premium peppers from Kerala, which, in addition to being cultivated in combination cultivation, are generally shaded 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 this is quite simple. To meet the strict international standards, the small family businesses have to make insurmountable investments. Even though there is the possibility of micro-credit, this has not proved feasible for most family businesses. About ten years ago, the Board started to promote organic cultivation, but it has still not gained much foothold for the reasons mentioned above.
The increase in scale stimulated by the government poses a serious threat to the survival of the small-scale cultivated pepper. It is also under fire from producers of palm oil and pineapple, who do not indulge their space hunger in the rainforest alone.
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 in it.
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-fries with light spring vegetables and in desserts of soft red fruit.
- 100% pepper berries from the Piper nigrum var kuching
- Protected by the Malaysian PGI label (International: PGI)
- origin: Kuching region, Sarawak (Malaysia)
- available in glass, pouch and test tube
- glass jar contains 75 grams
- standup pouches with a content of up to 30 to 500 grams
- available 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 category gift packaging
- grind your pepper shortly before use
- add the ground pepper to your preparation at the very last moment
- keep your sarawak pepper in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before September 2025 (09/25)
- this best before date is an indication
Would you like to know how Sarwak tastes? Can you also try a test tube, with enough pepper to fathom the flavor essence of this pepper.