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What Are Grains Of Paradise?

grains of paradise in a glass bowl on a white counter

We’ve recently been experimenting with our certified organic grains of paradise, and we’ve found that they have a multitude of uses in the kitchen and beyond.

What are Grains of Paradise?

Grains of paradise are actually the seeds of a perennial plant native to the West African coast and are sometimes referred to as "melegueta pepper." In the same family as ginger, they share ginger's warming and carminative properties. Grains of paradise have a peppery initial flavor with notes of ginger and cardamom.

Traditional Uses for Grains of Paradise

Historically, this spice has been used as a substitute for black peppercorns, and traditionally was used in the cuisines of Northern and West Africa. These seeds also hold a revered space in the folk tradition of Voodoo in the Caribbean and are commonly used in different rituals.

glass bowl filled with grains of paradise spice with bag of grains of paradise and mortar and pestle

How to Use Grains of Paradise

Grains of paradise have been used for years as a unique flavoring in different craft beers and gins from North America, but are just now becoming popular with chefs in the United States. The seeds are ground into a powder before use, though they can be added whole to stews and soups. While we only sell them whole, you can achieve the perfect grind with our spice grinders and mortar and pestles.

Three Culinary Uses for Grains of Paradise:

  • Use as a dry rub or in a marinade for your protein of choice
  • Sprinkle atop grilled or roasted vegetables
  • Powder and add to apple pie filling


Interested in More Ways to Use Herbs?

Check Out Our Little Book of Recipes



Topics: Specialty Ingredients

Our Products

Written by Our Products on May 17, 2017

Our products section highlights new and featured products weekly. From new size offerings to new botanicals, to new certifications, this team makes sure you’re up-to-date on all of our organic goodies.

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