Cubeb Pepper is native to Indonesia, where it is most commonly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence it is sometimes known as Java Pepper. It was brought to Europe via India through trade with the Arabs, where it reached Africa, and is now often used in Moroccan & North African cuisines. Historically, Javanese growers protected their monopoly of the trade by sterilising the berries by scalding, ensuring that the vines were unable to be cultivated elsewhere. It was a valuable spice in Europe in the Middle Ages until the King of Portugal banned its importation to promote the use of black pepper around 1640. Cubeb was thought to ward off demons by the people of Europe and also by the people of China and thus has historically been used in incense blends. It has a pleasant aromatic odour, with a spicy peppery flavour, often compared to allspice. There is a slight bitterness which is softened with cooking. It remains a staple in Indonesian cooking and is also popular in Ayurvedic cuisine.