Pepper is a high valued spice and in olden days was used as currency. Pepper is one of the rare spices that is used to flavour sweets and spices around the world. Pepper is actually a dried form of a berry that grows in grape-like clusters on the pepper plant. Peppercorns come in different colours and are used in different parts of the world as per requirement. The most common type is the black peppercorn. Peppercorns in general have a longer shelf life and are available as whole spices and in the crushed and powdered form.
Which colour of peppercorn to use when?
Peppercorns are available in many colours that are obtained by plucking the seeds at different times and putting it through different processing mechanism. We have black, green, pink, white, red and schezwan peppercorns.
- Black Peppercorns: The most used type of these spices is the black peppercorns. They are obtained by picking on unripe, mature berries of the pepper plant and made to turn from green to black. Black peppers have a hot, pungent taste and are aromatic. Two types of black peppers, the Malabar Black Peppers and Thellicherry Black Peppers are the most popular varieties that come from the Malabar coast in South-Western parts of India.
- Green Peppercorns: Green peppercorns are berries that are picked up long before they ripe and are pickled and preserved to lock their flavour. The green peppercorns are used in French and Thai cuisine as they have a fresh flavour.
- White Peppercorns: White peppercorns are the berries that are picked when partially ripe and processed. A part of the process includes a step where their outer skin is removed, giving them a white colour. They have a hot, creamy taste and do not have any aroma. White peppercorns find their use in sauces, soups and beverages.
- Pink Peppercorns: These are not exactly peppercorns but are dried berries that are derived from a small tree of the rose family that is grown in wild parts of Brazil. The flavour of these are similar to black peppercorns but are more acidic and milder.
Which is your pick?