“Phu Quoc Pepper” is pepper grown in Phu Quoc, a 28 island district of an archipelago located off the coast of southern Vietnam and located in the Gulf of Thailand. The pepper growing areas of Phu Quoc are confined to Phu Quoc Island, the districts largest island and the center of all ecotourism related activities.
Botanical Name: Pepper nigrum | Active compound: Piperine
Phu Quoc Pepper is considered the best variety of pepper in all of Asia
Pepper is a fruiting flowering vine in the family Piperaceae. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn.
Harvesting occurs during the dry season and traditional farming methods are used to grow the plants, which include the use of organic fertilizers, personal care of each peppercorn vine plant, handpicking each pepper fruit cluster, separating the peppercorns, and then drying the individual peppercorns in the sun. Applying this method ensures that the natural flavor and essential oils remain within each individual peppercorn and as a result pepper farmer can demand a premium for their crop. Due to this natural farming and harvesting process along with the islands climate, mineral rich soil, abundant sunshine, and fresh ocean air Phu Quoc's pepper is considered one of the world's best pepper, closely rivaling those produced in nearby Cambodia.
On Phu Quoc Island you will find 4 different pepper "types", but they are actually the same pepper species.
Phu Quoc’s pepper is unique as it is one of the few places in the world where peppercorn vines are grown on an island. Unlike the far more expensive Kampot pepper, the pepper grown on Phu Quoc has not achieved the status of “protected geographical indication” but that is bound to change by 2020. With the rise of the commodity prices pepper, the local government plans to expand plantations to over 500 ha and increase outputs in order to meet global demand. Vietnam is the largest pepper producer and exporter in the world.
The soil on Phu Quoc Island is extremely rich in quartz which is a necessary mineral needed for strong peppercorn plant growth. Mineral rich soil is usually found at the base of mountains, which is why on Phu Quoc Island you will find most of the pepper farms in the mountainous northern regions which is part of the Phu Quoc National Park.
Phu Quoc Pepper Farm Tours
Tourist can easily visit a pepper plantation on Phu Quoc. There are 3 plantations in Duong Dong Town which are easily accessible and if you plan on traveling around the island you cannot miss a pepper plantation. There is actually no tour per se… you just visit the plantation and then you can purchase the pepper. There are guided tours, but the expense is not necessary.
Currently there are over 400 hectares of pepper plantations and farms found throughout the central and northern regions of Phu Quoc Island — Cửa Dương, Gành Dầu Village, Cua Can Village, and Thom Village — producing 3 different varieties of pepper and yielding over 1,000 tonnes of the crop annually.
Buy Phu Quoc Pepper
If you want to buy packaged pepper products while vacationing on Phu Quoc, opt to purchase intact peppercorns that have not been crushed. It's hard to gauge the quality of Phu Quoc pepper products that are available for tourists since the highest quality peppercorns are shipped abroad. To buy fresh peppercorns, head on over to the Duong Dong Market.
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Scroll down to explore the 10 regions that make up Phu Quoc District.
Duong Dong is Phu Quoc's largest town and it is located along on the western coast of Phu Quoc island. Duong Dong is famous for its mighty river that bears the same name, temples, fish sauce factories, pepper farms, and of course the plentiful accommodation options available at all price points. Duong Dong is a busy urban place but there is electricity in the air. The town comes alive after the sun has set.
Nested in between Phu Quoc's two major towns (Duong Dong and An Thoi) lies Duong To, a vast central area that is home to the Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Phu Quoc's main tourist area. The Bai Truong Tourist Complex is often referred to as just "Long Beach", the literal translation of the Vietnamese words in English.Duong To is a hip modern commune with posh bars and restaurants, luxury beach resorts, and home to the Phu Quoc International Airport.