not anonymoused: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan_pepper
"Sichuan pepper (or Szechuan pepper) is the outer pod of the tiny fruit of a number of species in the genus Zanthoxylum (most commonly Zanthoxylum piperitum, Zanthoxylum simulans, and Zanthoxylum sancho), widely grown and consumed in Asia as a spice. Despite the name, it is not related to black pepper. It is widely used in the cuisine of Sichuan, China, from which it takes its name, as well as Tibetan, Bhutani, and Japanese cuisines, among others.Article en Français (plus petit mais interessant):
It is known in Chinese as 花椒 , pinyin: huājiāo, literally 'flower pepper'; a lesser-used name is 山椒 shānjiāo, 'mountain pepper' (not to be confused with Tasmanian mountain pepper). In Japanese, it is 山椒 sanshō, using the same Chinese characters as shanjiao. In Tibetan, it is known as emma."
Malgré son nom, cette épice ne fait pas partie de la famille du poivre, mais bien de celle du citron.Interesting point i've heard about but didn't know why before:
From 1968 to 2005, the United States Food and Drug Administration banned the importation of Sichuan peppercorns because they were found to be capable of carrying citrus canker (as the tree is in the same family, Rutaceae, as the genus Citrus). This bacterial disease, which is very difficult to control, could potentially harm the foliage and fruit of citrus crops in the U.S. It was never an issue of harm in human consumption. The import ban was only loosely enforced until 2002 . In 2005, the USDA and FDA lifted the ban, provided the peppercorns are heated to around 70 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill the canker bacteria before importation.