Tasmania's native 'pepper berry’ Tasmannia lanceolata is a rainforest shrub growing to 5 meters high with dark green leaves, black berries and distinctive crimson stems. Found from sea level to mountain tops in Tasmania, and the south eastern Australian mainland, it belongs to a family of plants from the ancient Gondwanan supercontinent, now found in the countries around the south Pacific rim.
The leaves and fruit of Tasmannia lanceolata contain a hot tasting compound (polygodial) which, together with many of the aromatic compounds common in many other Australian plants, gives an unusual fragrant, spicy taste and a 'bushy' rainforest feel.
Today the leaves and berries of native pepper give a 'wild, natural and spicy' taste to Australian native cuisine, and are finding their way onto menus and into pantries all around the world.
The spectrum of flavors in these pepper berries infuse beautifully into aioli, sauces, honey, cocktails, and vinaigrettes; along with an intense pink/purple hue. They can be used in place of black pepper in all the usual ways, and don't ever cook them too long. They truly shine as a finishing touch on everything from steak to sliced tomatoes and fresh watermelon.