Chinese Prickly Ash Grade Classification

Manna Foods
Chinese Prickly Ash Grade Classification
In this paper, the classification of Chinese Zanthoxylum was discussed, and the characteristics of Zanthoxylum from Hanyuan in Sichuan, Hancheng in Shaanxi, Wudu in Gansu, Xichang in Sichuan and Shandong were introduced. Hanyuan peppercorns are known as "superior" peppercorns for their bright red color, full grain and strong numbing taste. Hanseong Dahongpao peppercorns were rated "medium to high" for their deep red color and strong numbing taste. Sichuan pepper from other regions, such as Wudu in Gansu Province, Xichang and Shandong province, is classified as "medium to high" to "low" depending on the grain size, color and numbing taste. By analyzing appearance, color, harvest time and variety, the paper shows the quality difference and unique flavor of Zanthoxylum.

Chinese prickly ash grade classification


Peppercorns is one of the unique spices in China, and occupies an important position in Chinese food seasoning with its unique numbing taste and aroma. China's red pepper is mainly produced in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Shandong provinces. Because of the different growing environment, harvesting time, particle size, color and variety, the quality of red pepper is also different.The following will introduce the main producing areas and classification of red pepper in China.

Main Producing Area

◆Hanyuan of Sichuan Province

Hanyuan is a famous pepper producing area in Sichuan province. Because of its unique geographical environment and climatic conditions, Hanyuan pepper has excellent quality. Hanyuan peppercorns are full of particles, bright red in color and rich in aroma, and are known as "superior" peppercorns. The Sichuan pepper here is not only full of hemp, but also with a fresh fragrance, which is welcomed by the market.

Hancheng, Shaanxi Province

The Dahongpao pepper in Hancheng, Shaanxi Province, is also famous. Hancheng is located in the Yellow River basin, the climate is suitable, the soil is fertile, these conditions make Hancheng pepper quality. Dahongpao pepper granule large and uniform, deep red color, rich oil, strong hemp taste, was rated as "medium and superior" pepper.

◆Wudu in Gansu Province

Wudu in Gansu Province is another important Sichuan pepper producing area in China. Peppercorns here are medium in size, red in color, moderate in flavor, slightly lighter in aroma than Hanyuan and Hancheng peppercorns, but it is still a representative of high-quality peppercorns, belonging to "medium and superior" peppercorns.

◆Xichang, Sichuan

Xichang, in southern Sichuan province, is not as famous for its prickly pepper as Hanyuan, but it is still of good quality. Xichang Zanthoxylum has small particles, yellow in color, moderate aroma and numbing taste, and is classified as "middle and lower" Zanthoxylum.

◆Shandong (Province)

Shandong peppercorns are mainly distributed around Mount Tai, where peppercorns have smaller particles, dark color, weak hemp taste, and insufficient aroma, so they are classified as "inferior" peppercorns.

◆Other Regions

In addition to the above major producing areas, there are other areas in China where Sichuan pepper is also grown, and the quality of these areas is uneven due to different growing conditions and varieties, and is usually classified as "middle and lower" or "lower" Sichuan pepper.

Shape and Color

The appearance and color of Zanthoxylum is one of the important criteria to judge its quality. High quality peppercorns are full and uniform, bright red or dark red in color, smooth and glossy on the surface. The appearance and color of zanthoxylum vary from place to place:

Hanyuan pepper: large and uniform particles, bright red color, bright surface.

Hancheng Dahongpao: large grain, dark red color, has a higher oil content.

Wudu Zanthoxylum: medium granule size, red color.

Xichang pepper: small particles, red color with yellow.

Shandong pepper: small particles, dark color.

Harvest Time and Grain Size

The harvesting time of zanthoxylum zanthoxylum has important influence on its quality. Usually, Sichuan pepper is harvested in late summer and early autumn, when it is highly mature and has the best aroma and numbing taste. Harvesting too early or too late will affect the quality and grade of zanthoxylum.

Hanyuan Zanthoxylum: harvested in late summer and early autumn, the particles are large and uniform.

Hancheng Dahongpao: The harvesting time is similar, and the grains are large.

Wudu Zanthoxylum: The harvest time is slightly earlier or slightly later, and the particles are medium.

Xichang pepper: the harvest time is a little later, the particles are small.

Shandong prickly ash: The harvesting time is not fixed, the particles are small.

Color and Variety of Sichuan pepper

The color and variety of Zanthoxylum are important factors affecting its quality. High quality peppercorns are brightly colored, usually bright red or deep red. The color of Sichuan pepper varies from place to place, which is closely related to the local climate, soil and cultivation techniques.

Hanyuan pepper: fine variety, bright red color.

Hancheng Dahongpao: unique variety, deep red color.

Wudu pepper: red in color.

Xichang pepper: red with yellow color.

Shandong pepper: dark color.

Varieties of Sichuan Pepper

There are many varieties of Chinese peppercorns, and different varieties have their own characteristics in numbing taste, aroma and appearance. The main varieties include:

Hanyuan Sichuan Pepper: also known as "tribute pepper", is a unique excellent variety of Hanyuan, tangy and fragrant.

Hancheng Dahongpao: Hancheng specialty, large grain, strong sesame flavor, rich oil.

Wudu pepper: Gansu Wudu characteristic variety, sesame taste moderate, slightly light aroma.

Xichang pepper: a common variety in southern Sichuan, it has a moderate numbing taste and aroma.

Shandong Sichuan pepper: small particles, weak hemp taste, aroma is not strong.


The grade classification of Chinese Zanthoxylum not only reflects the difference of origin and varieties, but also reflects the influence of different growing environment and cultivation techniques on the quality of Zanthoxylum. Whether it is the strong numbing flavor of Hanyuan peppercorns, or the unique aroma of Hancheng Dahongpao, all show the diversity and unique charm of Chinese peppercorns. When consumers choose Sichuan pepper, they can choose the appropriate variety and grade according to their own tastes and needs to add flavor to cooking.

Related Products

Da Hong Pao Red Sichuan Pepper

Chinese Organic Dried Green Sichuan Pepper


Zanthoxylum Bungeanum Fruit Extract
Zanthoxylum Bungeanum Fruit Extract


Zanthoxylum bungeanum fruit extract, derived from Sichuan pepper, boasts potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Rich in bioactive compounds, it offers numerous health ben...

Green Peppercorns vs Capers
Green Peppercorns vs Capers


Green peppercorns and capers bring unique flavors to various cuisines. Green peppercorns offer a mild, fruity heat, perfect for sauces and stir-fries, while capers add a sharp, tangy burst, ideal for ...

Zanthoxylum Oil Cooking
Zanthoxylum Oil Cooking


Explore the culinary and cultural journey of Zanthoxylum oil, from its ancient origins to modern-day applications. Delight in its citrusy notes, subtle spiciness, and health benefits as you dive into ...

Mastering Peppercorns: Optimal Harvesting Times, Handling Techniques, and Storage Tips
Mastering Peppercorns: Optimal Harvesting Times, Handling Techniques, and Storage Tips


Discover the secrets to mastering peppercorns! Learn about optimal harvesting times, handling techniques, and storage tips in this comprehensive guide. Elevate your dishes with the perfect touch of fl...

Newest Products