Pepper

Fermented Kampot Pepper Crowned ‘Oscar’ of Food

Fermented fresh green Kampot peppercorns have scooped the top gong at the UK’s prestigious Great Taste awards, dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink world
Michael Winters holds trophies of Supreme Champion & Best International for Kadode Kampot Pepper UK. Kiripost via Sam Pelly
Michael Winters holds trophies of Supreme Champion & Best International for Kadode Kampot Pepper UK. Kiripost via Sam Pelly

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Fermented fresh green Kampot peppercorns have been crowned this year’s Great Taste Supreme Champion at an award ceremony in the United Kingdom.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink world and attended by food industry experts and influencers, Kadode Kampot Pepper UK won the Great Taste Supreme Champion, the highest award for taste in the world, on September 5, according to a news release.

KADODE FarmLink team in Kampot. Kiripost/supplied
KADODE FarmLink team in Kampot. Kiripost/supplied

The Fermented Fresh Green Kampot Peppercorns hail from Kampot and they undergo a unique natural process where young peppercorns are picked from the vine before being lacto-fermented – similar to that of yoghurt, kimchi or pickles – producing a dark, juicy and almost snackable peppercorn.

In the final stages of production, the peppercorns are preserved in Kampot fleur de sel. Tasting notes suggest heat, fruit, and citrus, and they can be served whole or crushed.

As the top scoring product, the Fermented Fresh Green Kampot Peppercorns were also awarded the Great Taste Golden Fork for Best International Food and Drink.

Described as “an extremely interesting product with a delicate scent of salt on the nose,” the judges enjoyed the “soft crunch of the peppercorns and the layers of flavour that started salty, then fruity, then a kick of heat”.

Close up fermented green peppercorns. Kiripost/supplied
Close up fermented green peppercorns. Kiripost/supplied

“These Kadode punchy peppercorns are probably one of our most interesting winners to date. I’m impressed, but not surprised, to see a fermented product take home the Supreme Champion trophy this year,” John Farrand, managing director at the Guild of Fine Food, said in the release.

Farrand added that for many years, people have seen meat, fish and cheese doing well in Great Taste, but every year is different, palates change, flavour fashions evolve. “We’re seeing a new desire for fermented and plant-based foods. These peppercorns are both.”

Food writer Melissa Thompson judged the peppercorns during the Great Taste 3-star final panel process and commented that pepper for so long has been maligned as this sort of ‘one note flavour’, which are not paid enough attention to. She added that these fermented peppercorns bring out the best of the already-loved ingredient.

“The fruitiness, the tang, the heat, they are really addictive. I can eat them as is, but I’d love to cook with them or just sprinkle them over some cheese. I’m really excited by this product,” Thompson said.

Great Taste is a stamp of excellence and actively sought out by food lovers and retailers. It is organised by the Guild of Fine Food.

All products in the line-up for judging are blind tasted. Every product is removed from its packaging so it cannot be identified before entering a robust, layered judging process, the release said.

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