Poivre de Guinée / Guinea
Grains of paradise (aframomum melegueta) also known as Melegueta pepper and Guinea pepper, is native to West Africa. Once quite popular in Europe, it is now little used outside of West Africa, except, curiously, to flavour the Scandinavian spirit, aguavit, and in some North African spice mixtures, notably, ras el hanout. The plant is in the ginger/cardamom family and the seeds combine a biting peppery heat with a lingering resinous flavour reminiscent of brown cardamom and galangal. It is an interesting alternative to black pepper. Grinding it brings out the flavour.