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Grains of Paradise

Starting at: $5.45

Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) is often used as a substitute for black pepper, but it's actually a relative of ginger. It has a unique taste similar to that of pepper, but with a citrus-y tang that gives a fresh taste to many dishes. The plant is also called Alligator Pepper, Guinea Pepper and malegueta pepper. It's widely grown across Africa, and is part of many regional cuisines. Its flavor is said to combine those of black pepper, cardamom and ginger

Many health benefits are claimed for Grains of Paradise, from improved cardiovascular health to increased testosterone. It has even been said to be an aphrodisiac. We say it's a great way to expand your use of spices in cooking, and to give a unique new taste to anything that you'd flavor with black pepper. Also, If you like black pepper but find that it upsets your stomach or causes bladder spasms, Grains of Paradise are a popular substitute.

Since Grains of Paradise can be substituted for black pepper in almost any recipe, we haven't tried to develop or find specific recipes for its use. However, there is one traditional spice mixture where it really shines--Ras El Hanout. You can use that in any of the popular Moroccan tagines, or in almost any beef, lamb or goat curry.

Because of the name 'Alligator Pepper,' people have asked whether Grains of Paradise could be used as a substitute for black pepper in golden paste (turmeric paste). It does have the same kind of metabolic inhibition as black pepper, but at a much lower potency (according to the admins in the Facebook Turmeric User Group.) So it probably is not an adequate substitute for black pepper along with turmeric. But it will still perk up your cooking and your taste buds!

Our Aframomum melegueta comes from West Africa, where it is widely grown.

Packaged in a 1-ounce glass jar and in 2-ounce and 4-ounce air and light-proof standup pouches.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 17 April, 2019.

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