Voantsiperifery pepper (Piper borbonense) is a wild pepper endemic to the island of Madagascar. It has a peduncle and is the fruit of a liana, which can grow up to 15 meters high on large trees in the tropical forests of east and south Madagascar.
This pepper has become highly esteemed and is therefore an important source of income for the local people. Unfortunately, it is not always picked in a sustainable way, and the plants are often subjected to overexploitation putting them at risk of becoming extinct.
The berries grow mostly on the youngest branches of the lianas, thus often situated on heights of 10 meters of more. This makes it hard to harvest, therefore it is often done in a non-sustainable way: some people cut the lianas or even the trees on which the former grow, instead of climbing onto the tree to pick the berries, as is tradition.
The association FANILO has started replanting voantsiperifery pepper plants to safeguard this threatened plant.
Voantsiperifery pepper is so popular because of its high quality: it pairs very well with all types of meat, but also fruit. It is a rare pepper with a delicate flavor and should be added at the end of the meat cooking process, in order to preserve its aroma. In Madagascar most dishes contain meat, for example of the Zebú cow, another Ark of Taste product.