"Kampot pepper has earned international acclaim for its strong flavour profile, and has enjoyed a surge in popularity and sales in recent years. It became Cambodia’s first product to be recognised with a Geographical Indication (GI) from the European Union in 2016. But even as more farmers and distributors have joined the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA), climate change hurt this year’s harvest, resulting in a 26-percent drop in the total haul compared to last year. The Post’s Cheng Sokhorng spoke with KPPA President Ngoun Lay about what the association does, and how it plans to adapt to climate change in the future."
Ho Puthea, director of horticulture and subsidiary crops at the General Directorate of Agriculture...said with the use of this technology farmers will know what crops are the most profitable for their land.
“The technology will provide guidance to farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector,” he said. “They will know what crops adapt best to their land, and the government will build the infrastructure needed to support them.”
"Every Parisian chef once knew that if he wanted the best pepper, he should choose Kampot pepper. As the country descended into chaos, pepper plantations were ripped up by Pol Pot guerrillas - collective farms and enforced labor held no place for bourgeoisie crops such as pepper - or consumed by the encroaching jungle.
Today, thanks to geographical status protection and careful husbandry, Kampot is slowly regaining its pepper crown and production is growing."
"Bat farmers are unanimous on one point: supply cannot keep up with demand. A good deal of that demand comes from one of Cambodia’s precious few heritage products: Kampot pepper. Producers may only commercialise the spice as members of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, which stipulates traditional growing methods free of chemical inputs – fertilising vines with the nutrient-laden guano is a no-brainer."
"Cambodians traditionally used hundreds of different native plants in their cooking. Today, just a few dozen are found in their kitchen.
Until recently, rural Cambodians never looked beyond their village for the ingredients of their culinary recipes and the rivers, jungles and soil provided the myriad flavours – from sweet and sour, to spicy and bitter – that make up Khmer cuisine. But today’s increasingly urban lifestyle has seen a shift away from food self sufficiency, with families substituting imported products for the local ingredients that were the heart and soul of traditional cooking."
"Cocktails from the “Angkor Era” tend to have classic Cambodian ingredients such as jackfruit, and also inspire a certain nostalgia. For instance, the Monsoon Perfume – a gin and tonic enhanced by Kampot pepper, lime and mint – is meant to evoke the feeling of being in a rice-field right before a monsoon rain is unleashed, he explains."
Thomasina Miers’ easy recipe for roast chicken with black pepper, oregano, bitter leaves and jerusalem artichokes
"I was at the Good Life Experience in north Wales this autumn when an old friend from school thrust a mysterious package into my hands. Intrigued, I opened it to find a treasure trove in the shape of small packets of black, red and white peppercorns. But this was no ordinary pepper: Kampot pepper, from Cambodia, was awarded protected geographical status in 2010, and is so floral and fruity in flavour, it was once known as the “king of pepper”.
Despite a wet rainy season, a shortage of rain in Kampot province is anticipated to diminish yields for the renowned pepper this upcoming harvest season, likely resulting in the inability of farmers to meet international market demand, according Nguon Lay, president of Kampot Pepper Promotion Association.
"Robert, it is true. The flowers were blown off from our vines in June and they are flowering again, but Cambodia is entering dry season, so our farmers are watering manually. Good thing we can pay for electricity for the water pumps from the 2 wells we dug. Amy"
Kampot pepper, which received geographical indication (GI) certification from the European Union last year, expects 80 tonnes to go on the export market this year, thanks to demand and increased production.
That's a picture of one of those tonnes coming from our farm...
"About 45 tonnes of Kampot pepper were sold from January to July and three countries are negotiating to purchase the 35 tonnes left in stock, according to the president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association.
The Asian Development Bank supports geographic indicator products, like Kampot Pepper, in the Greater Mekong Subregion
"...‘mom’s imperial rolls’ — a mix of ground pork, onion, taro, salt, sugar and Cambodian kampot pepper."