Have you heard of Kampot pepper? If not then you have been missing out on the world’s gourmet pepper. With a strong flavour, a unique heat and intense citrus aroma it is one of the most prized ingredients by top chefs around the world.

Kampot pepper has a long history. It was documented by Chinese explorers in 1296 and after the French colonisation of Indochina in the 1800s, the pepper began to appear in the finest Parisian restaurants. However when the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia and the subsequent destruction of the country, decades were lost and only in the last 10-15 years has Kampot pepper been able to re-establish itself.

Awarded GI (Geographical Indication) status in 2009, Kampot Pepper has joined an elite club which includes Champagne sparkling wine, Parma ham and Gruyère cheese. This status limits the production zone to areas close to Kampot and Kep and also preserves standards including the prohibition of chemicals.

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Kampot pepper comes in four forms, white, black, red and green. They are all from the same plant but the colour depends on the fruits maturity. The most commonly found ones are black pepper, which usually is the one found in your grinder or green, which is harvested when still young on the vine. These are our favourites and a great addition to a typical Cambodian stir fry or when eaten with squid or fish.

When travelling in Southern Cambodia a visit to the Starling Farm, located between Kep and Kampot, is highly recommended. After visiting the pepper plantation enjoy a tasty meal at their restaurant as suggested on our Southern Splendours tour

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