The Award Winning BoTree Kampot Pepper - In Stock Now! August 29, 2017 09:13
When you run a deli in Perthshire, finding great quality, artisan producers is one of the easier parts of the job! I am often struck at just how fortunate we are to be surrounded by the wealth of foodie talent we have on our doorstep. That said, even I was surprised when I discovered a Perthshire boy at the heart of the amazing BoTree Kampot Pepper from Cambodia!
Bo Tree is run by Christopher Gow, who has been in South East Asia for the last 25 years. He settled in Cambodia about 10 years ago, where his wife’s family have been farming for many generations. Originally from Bridge of Earn, he now exports the amazing pepper products back to Perth where his sister Amelia (who I went to school with!) and her husband Peter, are based. From here, they distribute all over the UK - including down the road to us in Perth City Centre.
Peter told us this: "The main point of our pepper and fleur de sel is that they are about as good as seasoning gets. We all look for high quality produce and then season our food with the most basic salt and pepper. Using high quality seasoning will dramatically improve the taste of your food.
We are just back from BBC Good Food Feast Festival at Hampton Court Palace, Michel Roux Jr was delivering cooking Masterclasses to approx. 2,000 foodies, three times a day. He said at the end of each demo ‘if you are going to buy one thing at Feast to improve the taste of your cooking go to Kampot Pepper Direct."
The primary crop on Bo Tree Farm is organic pepper and most of the workers on the farm are family members, though seasonally they employ people from the whole local community to assist when things are busy. They don't employ children on the farm; although as is Cambodian custom, the children of family members and resident workers will often join in voluntarily when the activity becomes a social event - usually during the harvest time.
As well as ensuring safe and fair working conditions, 10% of their profit goes to the Cambodian Children's Fund which does amazing work educating the next generation and helping rebuild Cambodia after the devastation of the Khmer Rouge.
So what makes it so good?
Kampot is a tiny growing region in Southern Cambodia where the climate and soil conditions are perfect for growing pepper. All of the products are 100% organic and certified by the Kampot Pepper Association; it is the only PGI (protected geographical indication) rated pepper in the world.
The pepper grows on a vine, when the green berries reach a certain size they are harvested, sorted and sun dried to create peppercorns. Fun fact - white pepper is the seed inside the peppercorn!
It is then vacuum packed before it leaves the farm ensuring that it arrives with us as fresh as the day it left them. I did a tasting with them recently and the white pepper in particular is really remarkable. It doesn’t taste all that strong by itself but Amelia had me try it on a piece of cheddar and it was quite amazing how it just brought the cheese to life.
Currently In Stock - Kampot Pepper and Fleur De Sel
- Black Kampot Pepper. The World’s Gourmet Pepper. Citrus aromas combine with medium heat to produce an intensely warm taste sensation. Picked Green before drying to create a uniquely rich, fresh, ripe pepper profile.
- Red Kampot Pepper. The King of Pepper. Our late harvest Red Kampot Pepper offers a sweet, fruity, aromatic flavour combined with a wonderfully subtle heat.
- White Kampot Pepper. Pure Piperine Intensity. Zesty, nutty flavours combine with an underlying heat that just keeps going. Adds vibrancy and clarity to delicate food flavours.
- Kampot Fleur De Sel. Salt flowers that appears on top of sea salt when the its very hot and humid. These flowers are then harvested by hand. This produces a very fine finishing salt with a wonderful sweet salty taste of the sea.
BoTree Kampot Pepper is like regular pepper amplified by 1000% It’s hotter, more aromatic, richer, muskier, more floral, more complex and simply more peppery than any other pepper. Interestingly, they recently won three awards for their BoTree Kampot Pepper at Great Taste 2017, arguably the world’s most respected food awards.