Surrounded by high mountains in the center of Japan, raised by pure cold air and water – this is “Sansho from Hida” a premium spice from this special area of Japan. Grown in the area at 2,400-ft (800 m) altitude, circled by rivers in 3.2 mi (5 km) radius, it is born with a strong fragrance only sansho from Hida can have. If it is grown in other areas the same rich fragrance cannot be achieved. Through generations they have been choosing excellent trees and protecting them carefully.
The family-run company, Hida Sansho, gather the crop by hand every summer, dry it first in the shade and then in the sun. They value fragrance high, so they grind only the required amount of seeds when an order is received. They make it the old fashioned way with millstone and a special mallet.
Top-grade whole Hida Sansho berries are harvested when they are slightly underripe, then marinated in salt. Sprinkle over fish carpaccio (salmon is particularly great), make sansho salsa sauce (simply mix with chopped tomato and onions) to pour over grilled food, cook with rice, or mix in the sauce, etc. It will add a nice aromatic flavor. You can also soak the berries in water for a few minutes to 30 minutes to remove the saltiness, and add to the sauce to cook fish, meat, etc.