Kampot Pepper History

Historical Map of Cambodia

Pepper has been cultivated in Cambodia for more than a millennia. The first documented account is from the Chinese emissary, Zhou Daguan, in his reports of his visit to Angkor in 1296. The French colonisation of Indochina in the 1800s brought Kampot Pepper to the tables of the West for the first time and "pepper fever" broke out in France.

Kampot Pepper became one of the essential elements of a French kitchen. Popularity remained high until the 1960s, when the pepper industry in Cambodia ground to a halt with the encroaching Vietnam War and subsequent destructive rule of the Khmer Rouge. Cultivation restarted in earnest in the late 1990s as old plantations were brought back to life by the survivors of the Pol Pot era. Kampot Pepper is once again in high demand, recognised as the best pepper in the world following the award of GI status in 2009.

Starling Farm is committed to restoring the tradition of pepper growing in the Kampot region and continues to bring the finest quality pepper back to the world's dinner tables and kitchens.