Some of the world’s great wine names are blends. The Côtes du Rhône blend combines Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. Bordeaux blends include five classic red grapes—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Wine expert Ross Szabo says, “Blending makes wines more complex: blending is used to maximize the expression of a wine. It can enhance aromas, color, texture, body and finish, making it a more well-rounded and complex wine.” If it works so well with wine, why not pepper?
Our house black pepper used all across Zingerman's contains a quintet of whole black peppercorns sourced by the de Vienne family from Épices de Cru in Montreal. All the peppers come from southwest India, the pepper capital of the world:
Tellicherry Reserve – Épices de Cru’s most aromatic black pepper offering. The aroma reminds of burnished old wood, of eucalyptus, of walking through the woods in northern California. The flavor is winelike with a richness and well-rounded heat.
Mlamala – Grown at above 700 meters under full-on southern Indian sun in the Cardamom Hills. Its unique flavor brings lots of low notes, and a long-loving heat.
Rajakumari – Fittingly, the name means “princess” in the local Malayalam dialect. Hardly ever seen outside of India, the fully ripened, densely textured, intensely flavored pepper is an elegant addition to the blend.
Tellicherry EB – Extra-large, fully ripened, peppercorns from the Wayanad region that bring long slow heat, big flavor.
Shimoga – A lively black pepper from the Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnakata. Where Tellicherry goes big, wide and deep, Shimoga is focused, narrow, intense with an almost electric set of high notes, and sensual spicy warmth.
The aroma is piney with a bit of eucalyptus, aromatic, floral. A hint of juniper—it almost smells like a really high-end gin. Maybe even a little minty. It’s long and lasting. The flavor follows from the aroma. A gentle heat at first that grows as it sits on your tongue. The complexity of the five top-notch black peppercorns the de Viennes have brought together especially for this purpose.
The idea of creating the blend is that you’ll use it everywhere. This 5-Star Black Pepper Blend belongs on your dinner table and your kitchen counter.