Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"True love can be like salt and pepper . . ."

. . . a little sprinkle goes a long way. - D. Smith"

In my very humble opinion; Good fresh ground pepper, is the zest of your meal!  There is nothing like fresh ground pepper on top of a thoughtfully prepared meal.  Since my last post was on salt, I thought a natural followup should be on pepper!  I gathered some information about this delicious seed.

White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant alone, with the darker-coloured skin of the pepper fruit removed. This is usually accomplished by a process known as retting, where fully ripe red pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week, during which the flesh of the pepper softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the naked seed is dried. Sometimes alternative processes are used for removing the outer pepper from the seed, including removing the outer layer through mechanical, chemical or biological methods.

Ground white pepper is often used in cream sauces, Chinese and Thai cuisine, and dishes like salad, light-coloured sauces and mashed potatoes, where black pepper would visibly stand out. White pepper has a slightly different flavour from black pepper, due to the lack of certain compounds present in the outer fruit layer of the drupe, but not found in the seed. A slightly sweet version of white pepper from India is sometimes called safed golmirch (Hindi), shada golmorich (Bengali), or safed golmirch (Punjabi).

Green pepper, like black, is made from the unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green colour, such as treatment with sulphur dioxide, canning or freeze-drying. Pickled peppercorns, also green, are unripe drupes preserved in brine or vinegar. Fresh, unpreserved green pepper drupes, largely unknown in the West, are used in some Asian cuisines, particularly Thai cuisine.[8] Their flavour has been described as spicy and fresh, with a bright aroma.[9] They decay quickly if not dried or preserved.

Wild pepper grows in the Western Ghats region of India. Into the 19th century, the forests contained expansive wild pepper vines, as recorded by the Scottish physician Francis Buchanan (also a botanist and geographer) in his book A journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar (Volume III). However, deforestation resulted in wild pepper growing in more limited forest patches from Goa to Kerala, with the wild source gradually decreasing as the quality and yield of the cultivated variety improved. No successful grafting of commercial pepper on wild pepper has been achieved to date.

Orange pepper or red pepper usually consists of ripe red pepper drupes preserved in brine and vinegar. Ripe red peppercorns can also be dried using the same colour-preserving techniques used to produce green pepper.

Pink pepper (I want to try this one) from Piper nigrum is distinct from the more-common dried "pink peppercorns", which are actually the fruits of a plant from a different family, the Peruvian pepper tree, Schinus molle, or its relative the Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius. A pink peppercorn (French: baie rose, "pink berry") is a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree. As they are members of the cashew family, they may cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis for persons with a tree nut allergy.

Do you like pepper?  I keep a pepper-mill on my table, how about you?

Two Years Ago
(click on the title below)


  1. Wow! I'm amazed.l didn't know there were that many kinds of pepper. Very helpful. Hope you are having a good summer. Susan

  2. I use a mix of white, black and green pepper corns in a pepper mill in my kitchen... Pink pepper is nice, too. It appears in many perfumes, too, believe it or not :-)

  3. Such an interesting post .
    Thanks for the info.

    Smiles :)

  4. Very interesting and thanks for the info. I'm with you on adding pepper.

  5. I use tellicherry black in my pepper mill, but I always have ground white pepper for Asian recipes and sauces and generic ground black for common use and meat rubs. I am a fan of 'plenty of black pepper' ... because it IS the zesty addition to every (just about every) plate of food that finds its way to my table.

    Great post ! So much good information!

  6. Yes, my whole family adores pepper and it is so essential to use when cooking. I just bought some Aleppo chili powder I can't wait to try. I'm very fond of pink peppercorns too. Great post Mary. Lots of good information.

  7. Great post, very interesting! Yes, I'm a pepper addict and have a pepper mill on the table. I will be looking for pink pepper, that's a new one to me and it sounds intriguing. Have a fun weekend!

  8. I had no idea there were so many kinds of pepper! I actually don't use it that often but my Dad is a big pepper fan and he says he likes to see the dots on his food.

  9. I believed I picked up the love of pepper from my mom. My favorite things to put pepper on are potatoes and eggs. Great post!

  10. Love this --- we're pepper fanatics in this house :)

  11. It would be hard for me to cook if someone took away my pepper grinder.


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