Known to the West since the Middle Ages as Cubeb pepper and on the island of Java as Comet's Tail or "kemukus", the fat berries of Piper cubeba mature to a brilliant yellow-red before they are hand-harvested and allowed to dry on bamboo mats in the tropical sun. The flavor is that of traditional black pepper yet with a slight bitterness to the heat and an aroma that can be likened to allspice due to hints of nutmeg, camphor and clove. In Java, Comet's Tail Pepper is used as an alternative for black pepper in curry blends. Try grinding Comet's Tail Pepper over meats, cheeses and vegetables to impart its unique warming aroma or use in place of allspice to add peppery heat.
Posted by The Pepperer's Guild on 19th Jan 2013
I sell herbs and spices to medieval recreationists - folks who are trying to redact medieval recipes. Cubebs (your comet tail pepper) are a key ingredient to many European medieval dishes. I spent a couple of years unable to sell cubebs because what I could order (from other sources) were awful - hollow, no tail, and bitter. Your cubebs are dense, flavorful and have tails (there's so much flavor in the stems!). Thank you so much!
Posted by Melanie on 26th Jun 2012
I usually buy the Wynad pepper which is fabulous, but wanted to branch out a bit and I absolutely love this pepper variety! It's very fragrant, with a floral nose, absolutely lovely!