Recently I travelled to India for the spice harvest, like I do each year at this time.
This year I went with two representatives of FLO, the standards and certifications body for the Fair Trade movement, and my chef André, who works with all our spices and makes up the powders and mixes in Cancale.
We now have such a close relationship with these small producers in northern Kerala that they have agreed to harvest for us each year the different botanical varieties of the pepper plant:
JERAKARIMUNDI, KARIMUNDA, PANNYOOR et NEELAMUNDI
For centuries, the farmers have harvested all the varieties of pepper together, then the trader makes an arbitrary selection depending on the size and colour of the peppercorns and the demands of the market, giving them names like TGB, TGEB or TGSEB. But these selections identify neither an aroma nor a flavour, since they almost always result from a mix.
Imagine if our winegrowers harvested several different grape varieties and left the selection to the wine merchant.
The producers even planted 3,000 cuttings of Neelamundi pepper, a variety that is not productive but has a distinctive flavour.
With Jane and all our team, we are happy to recognize the work of these families, help save these botanical varieties and share with you their unique aromas and tastes.