Did you know that… ?
- …fagara has nothing to do with pepper, since it is the dried pods of a Chinese variety of ash, a small, thorny tree?
- …fagara has a spicy, woody aroma and a hot taste?
- …fagara is a principal ingredient in the Chinese spice mix patera, along with badian, cloves, fennel and cassia?
- …fagara is an essential ingredient in the Japanese seven-spice mix (Sichimi togarashi), along with chili, dried orange peel, poppy seed, black sesame, tamarind and seaweed? All are thoroughly ground in a mortar and pestle, resulting in a very hot mix, which the Japanese use as a table spice.
- …in larger amounts, fagara deadens taste buds and can cause an upset stomach?
- …besides a spice, fagara is also used as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and blood pressure reducer?
- …fagara is an excellent accompaniment to fish, in combination with olive oil and lemon juice?
- …fagara, like ginseng, slows aging?
- …fagara as a spice is the whole or ground dried fruit of the Zanthoxylum piperitum tree?
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch Szechuan pepper (fagara)
pinch five-spice powder
100 g beans, salt
Salt pork loin, sprinkle with spices, drizzle with oil and bake in heavy pan 4-5 minutes each side. Serve on a plank with a side dish of steamed beans and various oriental sauces. Fish may also be prepared this way.
Fagara is one of the oldest Chinese spices, highly regarded and honored, used as a sacrifice to the gods. Soldiers carried it in leather purses on their belts and believed that it protected them against injury. Chewing fagara kept them, alert during wearying marches. They also used it to flavor tea, which is done in China to this day.