Black Pepper Is The King of Spices and can be found in almost every home in the world. It is the worlds most traded spice. The peppercorn is sold whole, cracked, ground and powdered in stores around the world. It is my opinion that the tellicherry peppercorn is the king of the peppercorns. I use them in my kitchen. I grind them fresh when I cook and offer them at the dinning table for my guests to use at will. The aroma of freshly ground peppercorns starts your taste buds working even before you experience its elegant flavor.
Black pepper accounts for one-fifth of the world’s spice trade. Although Currently Vietnam is the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing about 35% of the world’s crop, India, more precisely Mount Tellicherry is considered to be the center of the pepper world. I believe that India can be called the spice capital of the world. On a visit to India you will see cassia-cinnamon trees, cardamon shrubs. You’ll see nutmeg trees, tamarind trees, fields of
cumin and much more. In fact a visit to a market place in India is a walk into spice heaven. It’s all there and if you enjoy the many flavors spice brings to food you will be thrilled by the smells in the air. With all those spices available, it was only natural for India to give us curry.
Peppercorns, and the powdered pepper derived from grinding them, are described simply as pepper in most store. There are basically three different colors of pepper available.They all come from the same plant. There is black pepper which is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, green pepper which is the dried unripe fruit, and white pepper which is the dried ripe seeds. While green pepper might seem more expensive that the black or white pepper, they really are not because the process for green berries is to freeze dry the green berry. That process makes them much lighter in weight than the others, thus the price difference.
Today black pepper is a staple in kitchens around the world but it was once so valuable it was used as money. It is said that when Attila the Hun, held the city of Rome in a siege, he demanded that they pay him 3,000 pounds in pepper as ransom to lift the siege.
Black pepper is valued for it’s taste and aroma. This will really be noticeable when it is freshly ground. Also, when it is freshly ground, you will need less to reach the same flavor level.
This is another “buyer beware” spice. Tellicherry is considered the top of the line peppercorn when it comes from the mountain region. Look for larger peppercorns, with deep black color with some red brown. Avoid the dusty grey color seen in the lower grades raised in the valley. They are being mass produced without the same care and sun curing that gives the “true” tillicherry it’s complex flavor.
Don’t waste your money on those bottles of pretty colored peppercorns. First the pink one is not even from the same plant. It has a sweet flavor that can be easily overcome by the other peppercorns. As for the other colors, they are all from the same plant and the white and green mixed with black peppercorns just take you to the same place, so why pay more. Black mixed with white or black mixed with green makes sense, but not all three together.
Black pepper is best when purchased whole and ground as needed. For cracked pepper use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. To grind them use a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Stored in a cool dark place, in a tightly covered container, black peppercorns will last indefinitely.
It you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends by clicking on the buttons below the article. You can follow this blog by clicking on NetworkedBlogs in the lower right corner of this page, Thanks.
Eat Healthy, Laugh Often and Enjoy Life~