Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: tropical spices  (Read 864 times)

Aina Exotics

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • Hawaii Island (Big Island)
    • View Profile
    • Aina Exotics
tropical spices
« on: December 30, 2017, 02:48:41 PM »
greetings,  I am working on a spice collection on the Big Island of Hawaii and am interested your guys feedback on spices that grow well in the tropics.  Especially of interest would be rarer spices and good sources of seed and plants for these. Im definately not limited too trees, any and all spices. Aloha, Adam

Jack, Nipomo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 05:38:57 PM »
Allspice is a good one.  Try Oscar at Fruitlovers for seeds.

Finca La Isla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1042
    • Costa Rica, Southern Caribbean coast
    • View Profile
    • finca la isla
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 08:34:51 PM »
I have been growing black pepper for 30 years and it has been a nice little business.
Nutmeg grows well for us.
Vanilla is worth growing if you can get into the demands of curing it.
Cardamom will probably grow for you there, nice plant and great spice.
Cinnamon is easy.
We have a collection of culinary gingers and turmerics.  Galangal.
Thatís a start.
Peter

HIfarm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
    • Paukaa, HI, USA zone 12b
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 12:33:21 PM »
I had been trying to add some spices earlier but didn't have much success with most so I have abandoned the idea (not getting any younger).  Most of what I looked at were plants tagged with "pepper" in the name (regardless of whether or not in the genus Piper).  As Peter points out, black pepper (P. nigrum) is a good crop.  I tried to find some clonal varieties of pepper here but had no luck.  (The selected commercial clones are typically hermaphroditic and have been selected for flavor and/or disease resistance.)  Even if you plant seed from a selected hermaphroditic clone, it is typical that some portion of the seedlings will revert back to dioecious plants.  I abandoned black pepper when I was not able to locate any good clones (I wanted to have very good quality black pepper, not just "Hawaiian grown" black pepper).

I also looked at some other Piper species used as spices.  These would have the same issue (dioecious) but there are probably no select varieties of these so seed seemed the only reasonable option.  Most of these were Asian / S.E. Asian: chaba, cubeba, longum, peepuloides.  An African one, guineense, is also supposedly very good (some claim better than nigrum).  Seeds were hard to come by for these & germination was not generally very good when I did find them.

I also looked at various tropical "Sichuan peppercorns" (Zanthoxylum) from S.E. Asia.  These include species like Z. armatum (alatum), nitidum, rhetsa (limonella), avicennae, and acanthopodium.  Not all produce the same flavor profile as those from the Sichuan region but all are used as spices.  There is also at least one from Africa used in this way, tessmanii.  There is a snag with these, they are citrus relative so special treatments are required of the seeds to make their entry into the US legal.  If you find those imported as spices, they will probably not germinate.  You can get a special exception for these in your small lots of seed permit but it requires that the seed undergoes a special treatment prior to being sent to the US (I don't recall the treatment off hand but I had no luck finding seed for any of these, never mind anyone who would do the treatment if they had it).  You can probably find the more traditional species (from China / Korea / Japan region) but these would be subtropical or temperate so not sure how they would grow & bear here.

Another one I looked at was an African spice called grains of selim or Negro pepper (Xylopia aethiopica).  The pods of this are used as the spice and are typically dried with wood fires, giving a smoky flavor in addition to peppery heat.  It seemed that smoking with different local woods might also give an opportunity to craft different flavor profiles in these.  I did have seeds of these sent from ForestHouse in Cameroon but there was a problem with the shipment (USDA put my physical address rather than mailing address on package when forwarding) so the shipment was lost.

I don't know if you would be interested in any of these but I think that they would be worthwhile spice crops for here in HI and something unusual that chefs might be interested in playing with.

John

Aina Exotics

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • Hawaii Island (Big Island)
    • View Profile
    • Aina Exotics
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 01:03:30 PM »
those sichuan pepper types sound really interesting. Iʻll have to look into that.  I got a black pepper vine from frankies that id imagine they brought back from SE Asia. They usually dont import any run of the mill stuff.  thanks for all the good advice yʻall keep it comin!. 

Cort

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 29
    • 5b
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 01:36:23 PM »
Had lots of Sichuan peppercorns during my time in Chengdu, China. Great used whole or ground up in Asian stir fry. I would definitely get a plant. I thought I saw them at TWF a week ago but donít quote me on it.
Good luck!

Chupa King

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • Puna, Hawai'i
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 02:49:45 PM »
You may as well grow all the goodies.

Allspice
Bay
Clove
Cinnamon
Curry
Gingers
Galangal
Tumerics
Grains of Paradise
Cardamom
Nutmeg
Black Pepper
Vanilla


Annual spices such as Cumin, Black Cumin, and Black Sesame. Don't forget pepper plants... The spice of life.
Biodiversity is key.

polux

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
    • Slovakia, Nitra, 6a
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 03:57:55 PM »
If I have garden in the tropics I will definitely try some unusuall spices like - Indonesian cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, Amazonian cinnamon, African Pepper, Calabash Nutmeg, Indonesian Bay leaf. I try some of these here, but Im limited with greenhouse so difficult job but have succes with Black pepper, Allspice (very good spice), various cinnamons, vanilla, ginger, cardamon, pompon vanilla. Sichuan pepper grows very good outside but may be problematic in tropics. Also Sassafras, bay leaf, Californian bay leaf grow well here. If you want more information and history of spices I recommend these site  http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/index.html  ;)

Aina Exotics

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • Hawaii Island (Big Island)
    • View Profile
    • Aina Exotics
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 05:54:46 PM »
wow didnt know there were so many cinnamons and pepper family spices, this is getting deep. anyone have these rare pipers on the big island?

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 830
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 06:46:44 PM »
I would stick with Cinnamomum verum, Ceylon Cinnamon, it is the best and what chef's want.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamomum_verum

Pine island Nursery in Florida ships Piper Nigrum and lLemon Bay Rum last availability they had wholesale plants in 10" size for $15, they also had allspice in 6" for $9.50. You need to qualify for wholesale pricing with Nursery or resale certificate.
http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/nursery-content-pineisland-13-title-retail-price-list

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 830
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2017, 06:53:54 PM »
Not exactly a spice but Roselle/Flor de Jamaica is a quick growing annual which might be of interest as an intercrop while spice trees are maturing. Grow in summer for peak bloom as daylength decreases near Christmas for the fleshy red sepals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RioVTrBllJU


pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 830
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2017, 07:32:31 PM »
if I were growing Black pepper I would look into this (voiceover is sort of creepy!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMsFVLyPkNM

HIfarm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
    • Paukaa, HI, USA zone 12b
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 10:18:48 PM »
I would stick with Cinnamomum verum, Ceylon Cinnamon, it is the best and what chef's want.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamomum_verum


I had heard hype in the past about Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) & a lot of culinary interest in that due to its very pronounced cinnamon flavor.  I don't know how accessible seeds are for this species, though -- I never seriously looked into cinnamons.

Kada

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • Taiwan
    • View Profile
    • Kada's Garden
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2018, 02:02:21 AM »
Of all the cinnamon we have sold Saigon cinnamon is by far the most appreciated.  Ceylon often least with exception of health food people who use a lot and claim safer.  But Saigon and cassia is way stronger and nicer so with coffee shops and wet style concoctions there is less bark and nice flavor.

Taiwan has a bunch of cinnamons but only cassia is really done in any number.  Locally sweet cinnamon is used for its leaves in cooking.  Very mild.

Piper is a bit invasive, would it be allowed to import into Hawaii?

Aina Exotics

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • Hawaii Island (Big Island)
    • View Profile
    • Aina Exotics
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 11:33:13 PM »
thanks for all the great recommendations. anyone have any leads on where to get saigon cinnamon seeds?, seems quite elusive.

palologrower

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
    • Honolulu, HI, US, Zone 12B
    • View Profile
Re: tropical spices
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 12:14:01 AM »
Free well farms sell this variety of Micronesian pepper that's supposed to be good.  Doubt they sell you the plant though.   

Not piper but if you in to the chili peppers talk to nat at made chocolate on Oahu.  Dialed in to the pepper crowd here in hawaiii

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers