Grains of Paradise is being re-discovered by the western world as the rare delicacy it truly is. At first taste it is nutty and floral, then transforms into something more woodsy and hot. This seed is part of the ginger family, and although not technically related to the pepper family, this small, kernel-shaped seed is well-known in West Africa and appears in the Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout. Other common names for the pepper are Melegueta Pepper, Alligator Pepper, and Guinea grains or Guinea Pepper.
Grains of Paradise originates in West Africa where they grow on a leafy plant and are easily harvested. The name Grains of Paradise comes from Medieval times, where it was highly prized and often used as a substitute for black pepper. Spice traders, looking for a way to inflate the price, claimed that the seeds grew only in Eden, and had to be collected as they floated down the rivers out of paradise.
Flavor Notes: Full of nutty, fragrant peppery flavor with hints of wood, coriander and cardamom, and a touch of heat at the finish.