Sichuan or Szechuan Pepper is a common spice used in Asian/Chinese cuisine. These peppers have a unique aroma and flavor that is not hot or pungent like black, white or chili peppers. Instead it has slight lemony overtones with little heat.
Until recently, there was a ban on importing this spice to the United States due to the citrus canker virus. Though not harmful to humans, it could have harmed the foliage of citrus crops. This ban was lifted in 2005 provided the peppercorn were heated prior to importing to around 158 degrees fahrenheit to kill the canker bacteria.