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Old 12-04-2016, 07:06 AM   #11
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We use both, mostly black pepper, but the szechuan are a totally different taste and heat level. There are several giant "Asian" markets locally and they all carry the szechaun. They really would do more business if they didn't mostly ignore their non-Chinese customers. There are many things I would try if I knew what they were.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:21 AM   #12
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There are many things I would try if I knew what they were.
I tried at the Asian store I go to. They took me to every pepper in the place - and there were quite a few of them I even wrote the word out but to no avail. They just didn't know what I was talking about. They didn't seem to recognize the word Szechwan, only pepper.

I guess I'll bite the bullet and order on line but I'm sure the shipping will cost as much if not more than the pepper. Sort of an expensive way to "try" something.
I did find a "bulk" store that said they didn't just have it in at the moment - and still don't, that was more than a year ago.

I agree CraigC, they have lots of things I find interesting and would like to try but the labels only say "Legume"!

I got into a funny and lively discussion that ended up with all the cashiers pitching in - trying to explain to me the difference in Dumpling wrappers for steaming and Dumpling wrappers for frying. I was asking the difference and they were explaining the cooking methods. I guess in retrospect we were talking about the same thing.

Btw - the difference is thickness, plus one has egg in the ingredients - I only found out the thickness part because I counted all the dumplings I had made with each package and the packages weighed the same.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:13 AM   #13
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Dragnlaw, maybe it would help to show the staff a photo of what you're looking for. The first image below is Szechuan peppercorns and the second is Tellicherry.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:51 AM   #14
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I get mine from a Memphis ethnic market that's been in business for years called The Great China Market. When I first started looking for them it was hard because this is the kind of store that I'm usually the only one speaking English. Usually, but not always, someone else in the store who actually can speak English will help me out if needed but likely as not, it will be a customer, not an employee.

Anyway, the first time looking for Szechuan pepper was unsuccessful due to the language barrier. All their spices are on a back wall, shelved floor to ceiling with plastic bags labeled about good enough only if you know the stuff so well you don't need labels. Tried asking the guy at the counter but he's looking at me like I'm speaking Martian.

So I went home and found the stuff on the internet and then found a way to print out Szechuan Peppers in Chinese. Took that back to the same guy at the counter. He walked straight to them and grabbed a bag of the stuff without any hesitation or search required.
Second time I bought them took me a while but I found them on that back wall.

I do get a slight numbing effect but only if tast some of the stuff by itself. The food doesn't make my mouth numb.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:23 AM   #15
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I tried at the Asian store I go to. They took me to every pepper in the place - and there were quite a few of them I even wrote the word out but to no avail. They just didn't know what I was talking about. They didn't seem to recognize the word Szechwan, only pepper.

I guess I'll bite the bullet and order on line but I'm sure the shipping will cost as much if not more than the pepper. Sort of an expensive way to "try" something.
I did find a "bulk" store that said they didn't just have it in at the moment - and still don't, that was more than a year ago.
I just found this in a discussion on reddit that might help: Where to find Szechuan peppercorns in Montreal?
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:53 AM   #16
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This thread reminded me of a question I've had for years. How do those little red peppers used in chinese food compare to Arbol Chilis which are readily available. So looking into that I came across this. Sichuan-Peppercorns at Amazon.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:56 AM   #17
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This thread reminded me of a question I've had for years. How do those little red peppers used in chinese food compare to Arbol Chilis which are readily available. So looking into that I came across this. Sichuan-Peppercorns at Amazon.
I would say they are similar in heat, but think that pequins are closer heat wise.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:59 AM   #18
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Thank you GG. I had seen that Reddit post before. I always felt I could find it down there. It is over an hours drive for me and you really have to know your way around. Traffic and parking is a trial. I actually lived in the area at one time but haven't been back there in over 40+ years. Perhaps I'll ask my BIL if he knows or could pick some up. I believe his trucks deliver fresh produce in that area. Why didn't I think of that before? or maybe I did.

and Thanks for the picture comparison too... maybe I'll try that and try to print out the chinese word for them... but which dialect will have to be looked up too!

As said, "Just for a taste"
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:11 AM   #19
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...I guess I'll bite the bullet and order on line but I'm sure the shipping will cost as much if not more than the pepper. Sort of an expensive way to "try" something...
How does $5 sound? I'm surprised someone who uses "My Spice Sage" as a source hasn't stopped by. I haven't ordered from them (yet), but they sell in various size packages and ship "free". If you compute the price-per-ounce vs overall cost, you can see that shipping is sorta build into the retail price. But $5 for an ounce of ground peppers? It might be worth your while - cheaper than driving/parking/cussing your way through traffic.

My Spice Sage - Sichuan Peppercorns
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:18 AM   #20
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...So I went home and found the stuff on the internet and then found a way to print out Szechuan Peppers in Chinese. Took that back to the same guy at the counter. He walked straight to them and grabbed a bag of the stuff without any hesitation or search required...
What do they say about pictures and a thousand words? Over the years, I've gone from writing my grocery list out (in the order that I shop the store because I'm "that" way) to circling things in the store's weekly ad, jotting notes for other items in the top margin of the appropriate department page. If I can't find something, it's much easier to show a high school stock kid what I'm looking for rather than asking in "Culinary".
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