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Old 06-04-2006, 04:14 AM   #1
Senior Cook
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bordeaux
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Will Szechuan pepper work in a pepper mill?

I've just bought some whole Szechuan pepper (which apparently isn't a real member of the pepper family) in an Asian supermarket.

It is labelled Zanthoxylum, which fits in with what my Web search says it should be.

Anyway, my pepper mill (a Peugeot) happily grinds a mixture of white, black, and red peppercorns. And the red ones aren't "real" pepper either.

My question is this: when my pepper mill is nearly empty, can I blend in some of the Szechuan pepper with the other types of pepper, or might this clog up the mill and leave me frustrated?

Best regards,
Alex R.


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Old 06-04-2006, 07:11 AM   #2
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I haven't used Sz. pepper in a long time, but it seems I do remember it's a little 'softer' than other pepper berries? If so, you're right, it would clog up the pepper mill. When I used it, I either mashed it in a morter and pestle, or just used it whole in a recipe.

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Old 06-05-2006, 04:21 PM   #3
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I did it and don't remember it being a problem. I'm probably not as fussy as some, though.
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Old 06-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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I think you're probably going to have to experiment, as it will probably depend on how dry they are. I've found this to be true with red/pink peppercorns as well - sometimes they're a bit soft for use with a peppermill; sometimes they're just fine.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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The only advice I can give is to try it and see. The ones being imported into the US these days, since they lifited the ban on their import last year, are probably dryer than what may be found in other parts of the world since they have to go through a heat treatment process to kill a bacteria they carry that attacks cirtus crops.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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