Sichuan pepper, whole
Szechuan pepper is a commonly used spice in Chinese cuisine. Botanically it does not refer to the pepper, but belongs to the rue or citrus family. The reddish fruits do not bear their aroma in the seeds like many spices, but in the husk or hull (pericarp). The seeds were removed an the husk is dried and used whole, especially in Sichuan cuisine, and the finely gorund powder is one of the ingredients for the five-spice powder.
This exotic "pepper" is characterized by its spicy, lemon-like flavour and is therefore also called "lemon pepper".
There are many other names: Chinese pepper, Japanese pepper, sprice pepper, hua jiao, anise pepper, ?ina pipro in Spain, Poivre du Setchuan in France and Sansh? in Japan.
Shelf Life / StorageSpices lose some of their flavour through incorrect storage. Spices should be stored in a cool, dry, dark and airtight place.