Behind the Seasoning: Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper
We added a blend of sugar, salt, and spices to our lemon and pepper base. In very small quantities, seeds and other spices add an incredible depth of flavor. The slight heat of ginger and chile, the earthy flavors of cumin and turmeric, and aromatic notes of cloves and cardamom balance our Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper.
With about 150 different spice blends lining the shelves of our stores, people are always curious to know what inspired all of these unique flavor combinations. We love all of our seasonings but every once in a while, you get an opportunity to take something that is already good and make it even better. When Savory Spice Shop co-founders Mike and Janet Johnston went on a quest to find the secret to authentic Jamaican Jerk, they uncovered some simple secrets to make one of our most popular seasonings even better!
What is the story behind Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper?
The marriage of citrus and pepper has stood the test of time. But, like many all-purpose seasonings, lemon pepper is often used but rarely highlighted. Realizing the potential for versatility and zesty flavor, we aimed to create a new version of our Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper…a version that could steal the show.
We wanted to start with a clean slate, so the first step was to simplify. The two basic ingredients were immediately apparent: lemon peel and black pepper. To them, we added citric acid which effectively boosts lemon’s bright, tart flavor. Salt is also a flavor enhancer, so that was added too. But for those who are watching their sodium, we also carry a salt-free version inspired by of this blend, Citrus Pepper Seasoning.
So where did the name come from? Pyramid Peak is a fourteener (14,000+ foot mountain) located in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The summit resembles a ragged square pyramid, so it is distinctive. The steep peak requires climbers to embrace boldness, so it seemed a perfect namesake for this big, flavorful seasoning.
What is in Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper?
We added a blend of sugar, salt, and spices to our lemon and pepper base. In very small quantities, seeds and other spices add an incredible depth of flavor. The slight heat of ginger and chile, the earthy flavors of cumin and turmeric, and aromatic notes of cloves and cardamom balance our Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper. Each of these spices is strong and identifiable on their own; but blended together in small quantities they create a perfect medley: sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour. We were getting close but there was still room for improvement.
That’s when we added Meyer lemon peel. If one lemon peel is good, two is even better! Using both lemon peel and Meyer lemon peel gave us the boost of citrus we were after. Meyer lemon has become increasingly popular over the last few years but is still considered a gourmet ingredient by many.
So, what exactly is a Meyer lemon and why would we add another lemon peel instead of just using more of what we already had? Meyer lemons are a cross between mandarin oranges (or some other sweet orange) and lemons. This hybridization gives the Meyer lemon a unique and rich citrus flavor. They are typically smaller and sweeter than your standard grocery store variety lemons. The peel contains less lemon oil, which makes the flavor slightly less intense. Meyer lemons are also known for their aromatic, floral notes.
These distinctive characteristics made it the perfect ingredient to enhance the lemony, citrus notes in Pyramid Peak. After much tasting and tweaking, we found the perfect balance of ingredients. The lemon peel and Meyer lemon peel combine to create a bright but slightly sweet, lemony base. We use black pepper for that familiar kick and leave it coarsely ground for added texture. Citric acid, salt, sugar, and spices round out the flavor, ensuring that all of your taste buds are tickled!
How do you use Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper?
One of the best parts of Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper is just how versatile it is. Here are a few ideas:
- For chicken: Let your bird pieces soak in a mixture of 1 cup buttermilk and lemon pepper (use 2 Tbsp. for every 1 cup buttermilk).
- For marinade: Mix 1-2 Tbsp. lemon pepper with ¼ cup each orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil.
- For vinaigrette: Whisk 2 tsp. with 2 Tbsp. vinegar and 1/3 cup oil of choice.
- For dip: Mix 1-2 Tbsp. into 1 cup sour cream or yogurt.
Try it in place of pepper for chicken, seafood, and veggie recipes for a little extra zip! We gave a classic Italian Chicken Cacciatore a lemony boost. Citrus Marinated Shrimp Skewers are a quick and easy dinner, great for summer. Satisfied customer Clint says he "Made this recipe twice in 3 weeks. Love it. Light and filling for the summer months."
It’s not just for dinner though. It's also great for adding a zesty punch of flavor to side dishes like Bacon & Carrot Collard Greens or dishes like Mini Summer Quiches, individually-sized and perfect for brunch.
Don't stop there. Add it to dips or dressings for a citrusy kick. Take your snack foods up a notch, try these Zesty Oyster Crackers. But we saved the most surprising use for last. Desserts. Nope, we're not crazy. Just a pinch in citrus desserts might catch people off guard, but it will also keep them coming back for more. Try these Tangy Lemon Bars! And don't worry, you don't have to tell anyone that there's pepper in there. That can be your new secret ingredient.