Javanese Comet’s Tails or “kemukas” as they are known locally are a wonderful rarity among the world of Piper (true pepper) family. Known to the west since medieval times as Piper cubeba or Cubebs, this pepper has a wonderful fresh aroma of pepper, pine and lemons.This Peppercorn is harvested by hand and then sun dried before being sold. On the tongue, Comet’s Tail peppercorns exhibit a distinctly cooling menthol feeling offset by the peppery heat & a bright citrus-like sweetness.
Cubeb fruit is generally harvested before ripe and then dried. Cubeb often sold in the form of dried fruit that still has the stem, so it is often referred to as pepper caudate (tailed pepper). Cubeb seeds are white, hard and greasy.
Traditionally, Comet’s Tails were used in a variety of curries and ground spice mixtures where the cooling and citrus heat were desired. They were also fresh ground and added to the famous “kretek” or clove cigarette to add a soothing menthol aspect to the smoke. Their aroma is fresh, peppery, citrus-like with a unique pine-like, hot and pungent flavour. They are an essential ingredient in spice mixtures of Morocco, and in stews of Benin, in West Africa.
Piper cubeba (cubeb) or Comet Tail Pepper is one of the authors of the herbs used to treat asthma or respiratory problems.