Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big Kampot pepper test 2021. Here we present all the Kampot peppers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Kampot pepper for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy Kampot pepper.




Summary

  • Kampot pepper is considered a rarity and one of the best pepper varieties in the world among gourmets. Fresh with your dish, you can turn it into a real highlight with an unmistakable aroma.
  • One plant - four different species. Due to the different ripening times and refinements, you get black, red, white and green Kampot pepper.
  • The high quality is guaranteed by the regionally protected designation and strict certification criteria.

The Best Kampot Pepper: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Kampot pepper

What is Kampot pepper?

Kampot pepper is one of the "real pepper" varieties. A distinction must be made between real and fake peppers, such as pink pepper. Real pepper comes from the pepper bush "piper nigrum".

Kampot pepper is a strictly protected cultivated variety of pepper from Cambodia. The pepper originates from the southern region of Kampot and is therefore territorially very limited. The climate, the soil conditions and the traditional cultivation there make up its character.

Kampot pepper develops its full aroma when it is freshly cut at the end of preparation as a whole grain in the mill or grinded in a mortar and added to the dish (Image source: pexels.com / Dids)

Why Kampot pepper?

Unlike other types of pepper, Kampot pepper differs in taste. It offers a variety of flavours due to the special conditions in the regional cultivation area. Therefore, the taste is distinctive and you can immediately tell the difference from other varieties.

Farmers whose products bear the name Kampot pepper have to follow special regulations and guidelines. This ensures the high quality.

Therefore, Kampot pepper is well suited for special occasions and for all those who would like to try something new in the kitchen.

It is also said to have a healing effect. Due to its spiciness and its ingredients, the pepper is said to promote fat metabolism, among other things.

What does Kampot pepper taste like?

In addition to its fruity pungency, Kampot pepper offers a variety of flavours. In the taste, you will discover the strong and intense flavours that come from the warm tropical climate, the regional cultivation area and the nature of the soil.

The soil is very rich in nutrients and therefore gives off special and unique flavours to the plant. You can therefore easily distinguish it from other pepper varieties in terms of taste.

How can I use Kampot pepper?

In any kitchen, this spice provides an extravagant crowning touch for a variety of dishes. This pepper can be combined with, among others:

  • Soups
  • Salad
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • vegetarian dishes
  • Dessert

In short, this pepper gives the dish a unique touch- the so-called icing on the cake.

Freshly ground, it reveals all its aromas and nuances best. Gourmets recommend adding freshly ground pepper to the plate at the end of the preparation - this is considered the best and most aromatic use.

Alternatively, you can leave the whole berry in the cooking process, for example in the sauce. In this way, it slowly releases its aroma and flavour through the skin into the food.

Ground or chopped pepper loses its essential oils over time and thus also its own and special flavour.

With its dark colour and distinctive aroma, black Kampot pepper is ideal as a spice. You can use it variably and in many different ways and it creates the perfect finishing effect. (Image source: pixabay.com / congerdesign)

How much does Kampot pepper cost?

Due to the limited cultivation area, real Kampot pepper is considered a rarity. This is reflected in the price.

The exact variety you choose is also decisive. The manufacturers also sometimes have very different processing and/or packaging, which also justifies different prices.

Attention: With the cheaper offers, you should definitely make sure that it is really genuine Kampot pepper, otherwise the expected quality is not given.

Type Price range per 100g
Black ca. 10-44 €
Red ca. 12-35 €
White ca. 15-37 €
Green Not available

What are the alternatives to Kampot pepper?

If you like to browse the culinary spice kitchen, you can also try Pondicherry from India or Szechuan pepper instead of red Kampot pepper from Cambodia. The latter is also considered a very noble and high-quality pepper variety.

However, pink pepper berries are not an alternative, as they do not count as real pepper!

Malabar pepper (also called tiger pepper) or Tellicherry pepper (also called late harvest pepper) are also considered very good pepper varieties. They belong to the black pepper variety. The grains of the Malabar pepper are larger than the normal pepper and are well suited as an everyday pepper.

Decision: What types of Kampot pepper are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, there are four different types of Kampot pepper:

  • Black Kampot pepper
  • Red Kampot pepper
  • White Kampot pepper
  • Green Kampot pepper
type Difference
Black Early harvest with green-yellow fruit
Red Late harvest of ripe red fruit
White Refining form of red peppercorns
Green Fresh, unripe green berries

The plant is always the same, but the species differ in terms of harvesting times, processing and refinement of the fruits. This results in different aromas, different tastes and different colours.

In the end, you can decide for all types whether you prefer to receive the pepper as whole grains, ground or cut, or fermented. Pickled variations or variations mixed with salt or other herbs are also offered.

In the following, we will introduce you to the different types and their differences, advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes black Kampot pepper and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Kampot pepper is immediately recognisable by its dark colour and strong aroma. This is the result of drying the harvested grains in the sun.

On the pepper plant, it is harvested at an early stage of maturity, as soon as it takes on a greenish-yellow colour. This part of the harvest accounts for the largest share, as the pepper plant cannot let all its fruits fully ripen into red fruits.

Freshly ground, the top notes of this pepper variety come out well. You can detect the essential notes of eucalyptus, mint, thyme and the marine note. The spiciness is aromatically round.

Advantages
  • Good availability in shops, as most of the harvest
Disadvantages
  • Intense flavour
  • Should be used sparingly

What distinguishes red Kampot pepper and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Again, this pepper is easily recognisable by its red colour. The fruits reach their full red ripening stage and are harvested in this late harvest. The fruits must be handled with care, as they are sensitive.

Even when dried in the sun, this variety retains its red colour.

The aroma of this variety is sweet and fruity. The red Kampot pepper fruit is the hottest of the four varieties and is one of the most valuable among them, as it has reached the ripening stage.

Advantages
  • Real rarity
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for mills due to the soft grains

Here is a suitable video on red Kampot pepper from the Hennes` Finest brand, in which the taste and texture of this variety is briefly explained.

What distinguishes white Kampot pepper and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The colour of this variety is created by removing the flesh of the fruit. The red, ripe fruit is soaked in water and the pulp dissolves. What remains is the white core of the fruit. Afterwards, the white core is dried again in the sun.

This treatment results in a mild pungency and lemony spiciness.

Advantages
  • Injured red fruits are still processed and used this way
  • Good for the pepper mill
Disadvantages
  • Complex production with high water consumption
  • danger that seeds take on off-flavours in the taste due to the additional water treatment

What distinguishes green Kampot pepper and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The green colour of this variety is due to the early harvest. The unripe pepper fruit is harvested in the green stage and is considered a regional delicacy in Cambodia . It is not dried but eaten fresh.

Due to the short shelf life of about three to four days, many producers do not offer this fresh type as an imported product.

The taste of the fresh green fruits is less pungent due to the lack of drying. Its aroma is mildly lemony.

Few suppliers put the fresh green grains in brine or ferment the grains to make them durable. This makes it possible to transport the green Kampot pepper abroad. However, the original taste is altered.

Advantages
  • Local regional delicacy
Disadvantages
  • Short shelf life
  • Mostly not suitable for mills

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate Kampot pepper

We will then show you which criteria you can use to choose Kampot pepper from a wide range of offers.

We will go into the following criteria that you can use to compare Kampot pepper with each other:

  • Origin
  • Selection
  • Processing
  • Packing

In the following paragraphs we will explain the meaning of these criteria in more detail.

Origin

The region

Make sure that the pepper really comes from the Kampot region. Only pepper from precisely defined regions may bear the name Kampot pepper, as this is a geographically protected name. These are:

  • Kampot Province: Trach, Dan Tong, Bantheay Meas, Angkor Chey, Kampong Bay and Kampot
  • Kept Province: Kep and Domnak Chongaer

The regional nutrient-rich soils and the local tropical climate give the pepper the distinctive flavour that only Kampot pepper contains. Therefore, you should pay attention to the certification in order to really get a high-quality product.

The KPPA certification

The most important organisation to be mentioned here is the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA). It certifies after strict examination whether the product may be declared as "genuine Kampot pepper".

It also guarantees the following criteria, among others:

  • Traditional cultivation- harvesting by hand only
  • Sustainable cultivation- no pesticides
  • Organic cultivation- only natural fertilisers
  • Control regional limitation

Selection

If you want to buy Kampot pepper of high quality, you have to make sure that the producer carries out a precise selection of the bad grains. Foreign bodies or impurities are also removed here.

In multiple selections, pinheads (not fully formed fruits), light grains, grey or mouldy berries are removed. Light grains are an indication that the kernel has not fully formed internally.

The lower the proportion of such pinheads or light grains in the Kampot pepper, the better the quality. This guarantees the full flavour of this pepper and you can experience the full pleasure.

Processing

The finished pepper is usually offered as whole grains, ground, mortared or fermented.

Gourmets recommend buying the pepper as whole grains. The Kampot pepper develops its unique taste when freshly ground or ground in a mortar. This flavour, the fresh aroma and the essential oils are lost over time when stored.

Green Kampot pepper, on the other hand, is not available fresh as an import due to its short shelf life. It changes its original flavour when dried, pickled or processed. This is why some brands do not offer it.

You should also pay attention to freshness. Older harvests from previous years and long storage periods also affect the quality.

If stored correctly, you can use red pepper berries for about 1.5 years. To do this, store them in a dry, dark and airtight place.

Packaging

Here you should think about what kind of packaging you want. Kampot pepper should be stored dry, cool, airtight and dark, as just described above.

Suppliers usually have different categories of packaging in their range:

  • Glass
  • Metal cans
  • Plastic
  • Paper packaging

As a gift, metal tins or glass bottles can be very decorative. A disadvantage of glass packaging is the weight and the associated high transport costs. This makes the pepper more expensive. Here, the lighter spice jars are advantageous.

Especially with transparent glass, you should bear in mind that sunlight can affect the quality of the berries in the long run. Therefore, you should only buy smaller quantities in the jar here, which will be consumed quickly.

The advantage of plastic is the aroma-protected vacuum packaging. Light-protected coatings also improve storage conditions. The low weight also has a positive effect on transport costs.

Image source: pexels.com / pixabay

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