The harvested and dried fruits are used. The usually hollow berries with stalks attached are slightly larger than common peppercorns and have a distinctly wrinkled surface. They are usually sold whole and should only be ground before use.
Java pepper has an aromatic smell similar to that of turpentine. It has a sharp, sometimes also bitter taste. In the literature, it is partly described as dry and woody, warm-camphor-like, spicy-clove-like and spicy-peppery.