Sechuan pepper

Dried fruits. The aroma and, if present, also the pungency reside in the mostly brown fruit wall (pericarp, shell), not in the deep black seeds. Often, the seeds are omitted. The dried fruits of Sichuan pepper and its relatives have an aromatic odour that, for most species, can be described as lemon-like, with more or less pronounced warm and woodsy overtones. Some of the species have deviating flavour, e.g., Z. alatum (spicy) and Z. avicennae and Z. schinifolium both of which have an anise aroma.

The taste of most species is pungent and biting; it may take some time to develop, but in the end produces a strangly numbing, almost anaesthetic feeling on the tongue. Again, Z. schinifolium is an exception because it has only small pungent quality.

Sichuan pepper (Z. piperitum) leaves have a fresh flavour somewhat in between of mint and lime.