Chris Read, the man behind Diemen Pepper was doing a PhD research project on native pepper in 1993. It was at this time Chris noticed the very beginning of the Native Ingredient Movement starting. A couple of restaurants in Sydney and Adelaide were beginning to experiment with Pepperberries. At this time Pepperberries were rarely available, very expensive and the quality was not consistent at all.
Chris with the assistance of a close friend and colleague tasked themselves with finding a solution to those problems of Price, Quality and Consistency. Beginning the business in 1994, Chris has been able to take it from producing a few kilograms of Tasmanian Pepperberries a year to around 5 tonnes a year on average. Chris has also started to expand his range into other native spices like Wattleseed, Lemon and Anise Myrtle, Saltbush and Strawberry Gum.
Pepperberries have a very unique flavour that is sort of sweet but spicy at the same time. This means they can be used in a multitude of dishes from savoury as a condiment, a spice in marinades or pickle solutions or be used in sweet dishes including ice cream and chocolate or fruit-based desserts. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Pepperberries are best used at the end of cooking as some of the flavour can be lost at high temperatures when baking and frying.
Chris has a couple of favourite recipes for Pepperberries which are listed below:
DRY PEPPERBERRY RUB
In a bowl combine 2 teaspoons of crushed Pepperberries, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 2 teaspoons or brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, a half cup of paprika and 2 table spoons of dried oregano. Rub firmly into meat at least 30 mins before cooking. The rub can be made and saved for later use in an air tight container.
PEPPERBERRY ICE CREAM
Blend finely milled Pepperberries into a quality softened vanilla beans ice cream and refreeze before serving. This recipe can be adjusted to taste by simply adding more or less Pepperberries.