Grains Of Paradise
Grains of Paradise are an aromatic seed with a peppery hot taste that makes a superb substitute for black peppercorns.
Grind seeds in a mill, crush with mortar and pestle or use whole.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Grains of paradise.
Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta)-also known as "melegueta pepper," "alligator pepper" and "guinea pepper"-grow in pods on a shrub native to the swamps of the West African coast. They have a hotter and more peppery taste than related cardamom. Our Grains of Paradise are selected from beautiful, chestnut brown, pyramid-shaped grains that are grown in Nigeria. We carefully hand-clean the grains for a pure, high-quality whole spice.
Popular in the cuisines of West and North Africa, Grains of Paradise appear in those regions' complex, nuanced spice blends. Introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages, Grains of Paradise have been used to flavor beer, gin and aquavit. They have recently enjoyed a popular resurgence in commercial and craft beer brewing, being utilized first by home brewers and soon picked up by larger brands due to the spicy, complex aroma they add to beer.
Grains of Paradise have several medicinal uses, primarily as a stimulant, diuretic and carminative. In West African folk medicine, they are valued for their warming and digestive properties. They are useful as a black pepper substitute for people on raw food diets, as they cause less digestive irritation than black pepper.
Among the Efik people of Nigeria, Grains of Paradise play a role in spiritual and judicial practices, being used in divination rituals and in rituals for determining guilt. In the Caribbean and Latin America, they have been involved in some voodoo practices.
Our Grains of Paradise are a complex alternative to black pepper, imparting a nuanced heat and citrusy note to this savory, rosemary-infused syrup. Drizzle it over fresh fruit for an unexpected but intriguing surprise.