If you’ve ever had a dish at a Sichuan Chinese restaurant that left your mouth pleasantly tingly and numb, you’ve experienced the unique quality of Sichuan peppercorns. Also called prickly ash, Sichuan peppercorns are unrelated to black pepper and come from a plant in the citrus family. Find out where to buy quality Sichuan pepper, which part of the spice to use, and what causes that tingling sensation.

Photo by Flickr member atlnav under Creative Commons

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