The Wide World of Pepper

by Shawnda on November 28, 2006

in Tips

White, black and green peppercorns all begin as the same peppercorn on the vine. They grow in clusters similar to like grapes and are harvested in various stages of growth, thus yielding us a variety of colors.

Green peppercorns, such as the Mysore from India, are picked when they are young and then dehydrated, resulting in a mild flavor.

Black peppercorns are left on the vine to fully mature and develop, resuling in a stronger peppery flavor. The variety of black peppercorns include:

  • Black Lampong peppercorns from Indonesia
  • Ecuadorian black peppercorns from Santa Barbara (kidding, they hail from Ecuador)
  • Tellicherry peppercorns from India

White peppercorns are actually black peppercorns that have been soaked to remove the outer hull. White peppercorns pack a more intense flavor and a slightly fermented taste and smell due to the soaking process. White pepper is actually the “preferred pepper” of many European households.

Pink peppercorns and Szechuan peppercorns are not true peppercorns. They grow on bushes, not vines, they have softer outer-shells, and they can be crushed by hand for addition to your cooking. Do not put pink or Szechuan peppercorns into your peppermill.

Pink peppercorns are sweet and mild and add a fruity flavor to your dish.

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