Unique to Japan and China, sansho is unrelated to black pepper or chilli pepper. It has a strong aroma, subtle lemony overtones and creates a pleasant tingling sensation in the mouth. Sansho is widely-used to add a mild spiciness and rich fragrance to noodle dishes and grilled eel. The buds, flowers and seeds of sansho are all used to flavour cooking. The leaves of the sansho plant, known as kinome, are used in spring to add flavour to bamboo shoots and soups.