Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata)
Tasmannia lanceolata (syn. Drimys lanceolata), commonly known as the Mountain Pepper (Aus), or Cornish Pepper Leaf (U.K.), is a shrub native to woodlands and cool temperate rainforest of south-eastern Australia
Dorrigo Pepper (Tasmannia stipitata)
Tasmannia stipitata, Dorrigo Pepper or Northern Pepperbush is a rainforest shrub of temperate forests of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia.
Alpine Pepper (Tasmannia xerophila)
Alpine pepper is native to the mountains of Tasmania. The fiery leaves get draped in snow in the winter and blasted by Antarctic winds which sweep the icy valleys where this tough plant grows. Alpine pepper can also be used in far more ways than just as a seasoning over cooked dishes. Use it as a dry marinade on meats or add it to breads, batter and pastry as a herb mix. Excellent in salt and pepper squid.
Sprinkle over raw or cooked fruit or mix it into ice cream (particularly strawberry flavoured), yoghurt, cream cheese or custards. Generously season peeled and sliced bananas or pineapple pieces and pan-fry in butter and a dash of Macadamia oil until they just brown and soften. Serve with ice cream and a small cup of strong coffee.
Store Alpine pepper chilled.
The plant’s fruits and foliage contain a hot chilli/pepper-like factor (polygodial), with an unique aroma and flavour. The peppercorn-like fruits, produced only on female plants, may be dried, ground or preserved in brine and leaves of both
male or female plants are dried & milled and used to flavour sauces, chutneys, meats, cheeses, pate, breads, dampers, pastas etc.
Extracts from the plant are added to chewing gum in Japan and are being examined for their antimicrobial activities.
Mountain Pepper grows naturally as a shrub to small tree (2 to 5 m high and wide), with glossy dark-green leaves and attractive bright red stems. It produces cream coloured flowers from October through to January depending on locality. Its berry-like fruits are 5 to 10 mm in diameter, beginning dark red and turning shiny black when ripe in summer or autumn. They generally appear only on female trees, though occasionally plants contain flowers of both sexes. Plant growth is moderate to fast under favourable conditions.
The plant appears to prefer neutral to acid organic soil, but will tolerate a broad range of soil types as long as they are well aerated and constantly cool if not regularly moist. It will tolerate severe frosts and even snow.
Add Ground Mountain Pepperleaf to olive oil for dressings and tapas platters. A small bowl of Ground Mountain Pepper placed in the centre of the table can be ‘pinched’ over soups and sauces.