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Dorrigo pepper, also called Northern pepperbush is an evergreen shrub of the genus Tasmannia. Its leaves and berries are used as a spice in Australia. Other bush pepper varieties of the genus Tasmannia are Tasmanian pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) and Alpine pepper (Tasmannia xerophila). Dorrigo pepper is native to the subtropical rainforests of northern New South Wales, where it is still often harvested in the wild. Its culinary qualities were discovered in the 1980s by the horticulturist Peter Hardwick and the cook Jean-Paul Bruneteau. Both are precursors of the Australian bushfood movement.

Dorrigo pepper tastes very hot with a woody note. It is completely lacking the sweetness of Tasmanian pepper. In contrast to other Tasmannia varieties it is naturally free of safrole, a liver toxic and carcinogenic essential oil banned in foods. Dorrigo pepper is therefore completely safe to use as a substitute for black pepper. Long cooking times destroy the aroma of all Australian pepper varieties. They should therefore be added towards the end of the cooking time. Since Dorrigo pepper is much hotter than black pepper, the used quantity has to be adjusted.


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