Australian Bush Food


Botanical name: Tasmannia lanceolata
Family: Winteraceae

The Pepperberry's come from the fruit of the Tasmannia lanceolata shrub which grows naturally in the cool wet habitats from sea level to alpine regions in Tasmania. It is a member of a family of plants associated with the ancient super-continent Gondwana and members of this family are also found on New Caledonia, New Zealand and the Solomon islands, parts of Indonesia and from southern Mexico to Cape Horn.

The genus name Tasmannia originated from its place of origin, Tasmania, a southern state of Australia that is not attached to the mainland, which itself is named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman (1603-1659). The species name lanceolata is Latin for "lance-shaped" which comes from a Latin noun lancea "lance".

Native Pepperberry was used as a spice by the Aboriginal tribes along the east coast of Tasmania. They would also use the berries as a spicy rub on meats before roasting. Today, it is used as a native Australian bushfood to add flavour and spice to modern cuisine.

The presence of the compound polygodial in extracts of T. lanceolata was first reported in 1962 and in recent years this compound has attracted considerable interest for its unique biological properties (antimicrobial and antifungal properties as well as having a hot taste). The active compound polygodial is present in high concentration in both the seed of the berry and the fruit pulp.

Our Native Pepperberry is gathered from 'wild crafted' shrubs grown without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers of any kind. All the fruit is hand picked by small teams of pickers without any damage to the trees. The berries are then warm air-dried at 28-35°C with close attention to adequate airflow and temperature control. The milled berry is then prepared as required using a stainless steel hammer mill.

Native Pepperberry ground appears as a deep purple to black powder which has a hot peppery flavour suitable for sauces. It can be used as an Australian substitute for pepper, but with its distinctive and unique flavour it will add an extra punch to any recipe. It is wonderful when incorporated into chutneys, marinades, sauces, glazes, seasonings for meat dishes, although it is wise to note that long simmering of this product can destroy the taste of this spice but this can be revived with an added seasoning towards the end of the preparation of the dish. This product has a shelf life of 12 months when stored in original packaging below 20°C.

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