Peppercorns are the hallmark of Sichuan’s fiery hot cuisine. The spice is known for its tongue-numbing, tingly sensation, and it can be found sprinkled on tofu or boiled in hot pot.
But they’re also really difficult to find in America.
We went to Hanyuan County in Sichuan Province to find the most potent peppercorns and learned how a series of weird import regulations prevented them from reaching the States—until now.
This is the first episode of our fall series In Season, where Clarissa goes out to harvest plants and animals that are hard to find and explains why you can’t get them in the U.S.