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Sichuan Pepper

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What is it?

A common spice in Chinese cuisine, Sichuan pepper is not related to black or white peppercorns (Piper nigrum) but is rather the reddish-brown seedpod of an entirely different plant (genus Zanthoxylum). It is instantly recognizable for the tingly sensation it produces on the tongue. Though it’s not spicy in its own right, it is often paired with chiles in Sichuan cuisine, creating a spicy-and-numbing effect. It is also a component of Chinese five-spice powder.

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