Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta)

Description

Also known as Alligator Pepper, Grains of Paradise is indigenous to the west coast of Africa. A relative of both ginger and cardamom, the seed pods have a slightly spicy, citrusy flavor with juniper and lavender notes. Use Grains of Paradise in any dish you would use pepper to add a more floral note, or even mix with pepper in your pepper grinder to add depth.
The plant has rhizomes underground, and above ground can grow up to 4 feet tall, with narrow reedy leaves, 10 inches long x 1 inch wide. The flowers are beautiful, looking like lilies. Both the rhizomes and the flowers smell a bit like ginger. The seeds grow inside pods that are red with white jelly-like pulp inside them. The pods are ready to harvest when they ripen from green to red. Only then will the seeds have developed their taste. The pods are collected, and dried in the sun for about a week. When dried, the pods are about 2 to 2 3/4 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide. Full sun to part shade. Hardy to Zones 9-11. Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Grains of Paradise-FC

Also known as Alligator Pepper, Grains of Paradise is indigenous to the west coast of Africa. A relative of both ginger and cardamom, the seed pods have a slightly spicy, citrusy flavor with juniper and lavender notes. Use Grains of Paradise in any dish you would use pepper to add a more floral note, or even mix with pepper in your pepper grinder to add depth.
The plant has rhizomes underground, and above ground can grow up to 4 feet tall, with narrow reedy leaves, 10 inches long x 1 inch wide. The flowers are beautiful, looking like lilies. Both the rhizomes and the flowers smell a bit like ginger. The seeds grow inside pods that are red with white jelly-like pulp inside them. The pods are ready to harvest when they ripen from green to red. Only then will the seeds have developed their taste. The pods are collected, and dried in the sun for about a week. When dried, the pods are about 2 to 2 3/4 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide. Full sun to part shade. Hardy to Zones 9-11. Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and Mountain Rose Herbs.

Grains of Paradise-FC