World’s Best Pepper
How the World’s Best Pepper is Grown in Kampot, Cambodia
We spotted pepper vines on either side of us as our driver turned off the road to ascend a hill. Peppercorns have been cultivated in Cambodia since the 13th century, but the industry really boomed under French colonial rule in the 19th and 20th centuries, when European chefs started appreciating Kampot pepper’s notably floral and slightly sweet flavor. The pepper’s most important characteristic, according to Sothy, is its tendency to linger on the tongue. “The taste of Kampot pepper stays in your mouth for a long, long time,” she says. Cambodia’s pepper industry went into a major decline thanks to the Khmer Rouge regime’s policies in the 1970’s, but today it’s experiencing a renaissance as the country reopens to the world.