Timut Pepper, a Precious but Not Widespread Spice
What is Timut pepper and what are its characteristics
Timut pepper is a spice with a strongly exotic character that is gradually spreading also in our country. Let me be clear, it is also seen as a niche ingredient, but it is conquering an increasing number of people. Also because it has all the characteristics to please the mass, as in fact happens in the areas from which it originates.
Before talking about the Timut pepper from a gastronomic point of view, it is good to clear the field from a misunderstanding, it is not a real pepper. In fact, it is the peel of a berry that is dried and minced. It is called pepper because in its final form it recalls "our pepper" and, by analogy, it is used as a spice. It goes without saying that it belongs to a different plant species, and specifically to the "Schinus molle".
Also as regards organoleptic properties, Timut pepper has nothing to do with normal pepper, be it black, green or white, in fact, it tends to be sweetish. There are strong citrus notes, which recall now lemon, now grapefruit now passion fruit. For this reason, it is used to produce bittersweet scents in preparations that would otherwise simply be salty. Schinus molle, a plant species from which Timut pepper is made, is native to Nepal. It is a medium-stemmed tree characterized by thorny branches and small leaves. The pepper is produced by letting the berries dry in the sun, which is then pounded to obtain the peel.
The therapeutic properties of Timut pepper
From this point of view, Timut pepper behaves like a real spice. In fact, it is characterized by some nutritional peculiarities, which almost result in the therapeutic field. An example is given by its action towards the digestive system. It is clear that scientific studies have not yet emerged in this regard, but it seems that Timut pepper is able to alleviate problems in the stomach, intestines and spleen.
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Likewise, it fights constipation and digestive difficulties. Above all, this type of pepper would be a perfect pain reliever, capable of even reducing pain from toothache (which is one of the most intense ever). Or at least that's what the populations of Nepal believe, who use Timut pepper also for these, so to speak therapeutic purposes.
Other properties of Timut pepper are more attested by scientific studies. For example, its diuretic, bactericidal and fungicidal function is well known. The fruits can be reduced to an infusion and consumed in this way to also alleviate the symptoms of fever.
How to use this type of pepper in the kitchen
The uses of Timut pepper are numerous. To understand them one hundred percent it is necessary to start from its main characteristic, that is, from the flavour. As I have already explained, it is "citrus", that is, it refers to a wide range of citrus fruits, which are represented with greater or lesser intensity depending on the degree of ripeness. For this reason, it is often used as a classic spice but in order to provide a bittersweet scent.
In addition, Timut pepper, precisely because of its appeal to citrus fruits, is often used for confectionery preparations, especially for desserts and sorbets. This type of pepper is also combined with chocolate, with which it generates a pleasant contrast. Proof of this is a recipe that I published here on Nonnapaperina.it: the semifreddo with spiced chocolate sauce. In this case, Timut pepper is one of the spices with which this very special sauce is prepared. The examples and possibilities of using this pepper, however, are innumerable. I, therefore, invite you to consult our site and personally test the numerous recipes you find on the subject.
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