Mountain Pepper Lead and Mountain Pepperberry grow naturally in the forest and the cool climate of southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
This small tree grows up to 5 metres in height and only the female bears fruit. The fruit is berry like and starts off dark red in colour and turns black on ripening.
Traditionally, Mountain Pepper was used for its antiseptic properties and its flavour. Both the leaves and fruit were used. Aborigines suffering from sore gums and tooth aches often crushed the berries with water to make a paste and applied the paste to treat the infection. It was also added to food as a flavour enhancer.
- Mountain Pepper is a native species that has a high antioxidant capacity. It even outshines the world-renowned blueberry in this regard! Antioxidants have been linked to preventing or delaying cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.
- Both the leaf and the berry contains vitamin E, lutein (a compound that plays an important role in eye health and wellbeing), zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
- The berry contains the compound polygodial, which can be used as an anti-inflammatory for issues such as arthritis, asthma and assisting in healing gut irritability .The polygodial properties protect the stomach lining from pathogens, diseases and inflammatory markers.
- The berries and leaf are also used to assist in the slow absorption of glucose from the stomach, allowing stabilization of blood sugar levels.
Taste and Smell
Mountain Pepper Leaf has a strong earthy, spicy flavour.
The pepper berry is known for its ‘hot’ flavour due to the polygodial properties. They are fruity upon first taste, followed by a spicy flavour.
Mouintain Pepper Leaf
Mountain Pepper Leaf can be used for cooking, preserving foods and for medicinal purposes.
Its berries can be used fresh, dried or milled as a spice. The leaves can be used dried and milled or heated to extract oils.
Ground Mountain Pepper Leaf can be added to olive oil to make a dressing for salads. It can be used as a marinade or seasoning for roasted meats and vegetables. It adds an interesting flavour to dukkah, hummus and other dips. Keep a small bowl on your kitchen counter so you can grab a pinch and season to your hearts content!
You can incorporate this unique Australian native fruit into your cooking with our Air Dried Mountain Pepper Leaf available for purchase online here.
The berry can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes in the kitchen.
You’ll find the berry whole, ground, frozen or fresh and can be used in a variety of ways.
The berries can be used in order to deepen the colour and aroma of marinades, sauces , soups or Vinaigrettes. The luscious deep purple colour can also be used in desserts such as ice creams, yoghurts and jelly to provide a unique, savoury touch.