Flavour experience – This flavour journey starts with a pleasant umami characteristic for the local variety, followed by a smokiness which results from the drying process. But don’t be fooled, then comes a pungent punch in its full strength. You don’t have to use much of this pepper to add spice to your dish. Tip: to retain most of the umami flavour, add the pepper at the last moment.
The Spice – The farmers of Eko Land produce the black pepper in an agro-forest in central Sri Lanka. This means that they let multiple crops and plants grow on the same land, creating the natural eco-system of a forest. Worldwide, dozens of black pepper variations exist. Our Island Black Pepper is a combination of a local variety (30%) and a commercial Indian variety (Panyoor, 70%). The local variety has a stronger umami flavour and a high peperine percentage, the substance that gives it its pungent flavour. The commercial variety has a better resistance against pests. Through this combination the farmers combine the best of both.
How does it grow?
Does black pepper grow on a bush or a tree? None of these: black pepper is the berry of a climber which can grow up to 10 meters high. This makes black pepper perfect to be grown side-by-side with other tree crops. The berries are harvested when they are still green and unripe. In the movie right under you can see how pepper is harvested by one of our farmers, Sube.
Did you know that black and white pepper are the same plant? To harvest black pepper the berries are picked when there are unripe. For white pepper, the berries are harvested when they are red and ripe. By soaking and then drying them, the red berries lose the red outer layer and become white pepper. Another nice spice fact – for centuries black pepper was the most expensive spice on the planet and was sometimes used as a form of currency. In Dutch, when something is really expensive, the phrase ‘Pepper duur (expensive)’ is still being used.
Working with – is set up by father and son: Nihal and Remon. The perfect team of two completely different characters. A few years ago, they returned to family land to realize their dream: to set up an Eco lodge and produce spices in a sustainable way, involving the local community in all steps. They provide drying facilities and knowledge, and look for new markets.
Impact – By combining our strengths Eko Land can now pay the farmers 30% above the market price. Besides that, our cooperation contributes to the maintenance and development of their agro-forest.
How many steps between farmer and you
Farmer Suze – Eko Land – The Good Spice – your kitchen
How many farmers
The price the farmers recieve
LKR 730= €3,05 per kg (marketprice is LKR 610 per kg)
€3,05 instead of €2,55 – increase by 20%
KG’s organically produced spices imported