For the Love of Peppercorns
Last night in class we explored cooking with herbs and spices and it got me to thinking - what would the world be without pepper – specifically black pepper? Apparently a pretty sad place as it turns out black pepper is the most widely used spice in the entire world. Impressive right? Well it gets even better – in the Middle Ages in many areas, black pepper was actually used as a form of currency. Too bad that’s not the case any longer.
Peppercorns are actually the fruit of a fairly easy to grow plant that originated in southern India. And while black peppercorns get most of the attention, did you know that there are three others to consider? Namely:
- Green peppercorns are the unripe dried fruit.
- White peppercorns come from mature, but not fully ripe fruit that has had the skin removed.
- Red peppercorns come from fully mature fruit and are very rare.
- And for the record, black peppercorns have been cooked and then dried.
Next time you’re cooking, give a different peppercorn a try.
Now you know!