Instead of salt n’ pepper, how about salt n’ tsiperifery?
Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but if tsifperifery continues to rise in popularity with chefs, we might have to get used to it.
The citrusy, wild pepper has been winning over food connoisseurs – like Michelin-stared chef Anne-Sophie Pic and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck – around the world. Now it has other chefs and foodies wondering: can tsiperifery replace black pepper on our dinner tables?
Until just five years ago, the pepper lived in anonymity internationally, a hidden gem that comes from Madagascar. While consumption is still very limited, it’s starting to spring up in high-end restaurants, and in fine spice stores.
Foodies say tsiperifery is stronger than normal pepper, with a lingering punch of heat – perfect for a big steak. There’s also an acidic, citrusy taste unique to the plant.
Chef Hary Liva Rakotondravelo from La Varangue, one of the best-known restaurants in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, cooks with the pepper regularly.
“You have to try it with cheese, with strawberries. With fish it’s amazing,” he gushes.
He believes the pepper will be huge in the future, so he’s acting now.
He started Madagascar’s first tsiperifery farm, planting tens of thousands of seedlings in his forest. Clearly, he’s ambitious about the pepper: “We’re going to be like the Opec of tsiperifery,” he said, referring to the organization that controls oil production.
Better get used to saying, “Hey, can you pass the tsiperifery?”