Pepper is known to add a kick to dishes by adding heat and a crunchy texture. The most well-known is black pepper, but other peppers are available from white, green and pink peppercorns. This spice was valuable in the past, so much so that it was used as a form of payment. Know more about peppers so you can incorporate it into your cooking.
What is a peppercorn?
Peppercorns originate from tiny fruits called drupes, grown through vines. This spice first came from India and Vietnam, although there are numerous countries that produce it nowadays.
Whether it’s white, black, pink or green peppercorns, all the varieties are available at farmers’ markets, spice houses and supermarkets. The number of varieties are quite large, so you would be able to incorporate it in various dishes.
The most common and well-known pepper is the black-colored variety. It does not mean that the pepper is grown in that color, but rather it is the green-colored variety that has been cooked and dried out. In general, it is used as a seasoning or crust that adds warmth to a variety of dishes like meats, eggs, salads, fries, soups and more. Black peppercorns are crushed or ground up, used alongside table salt.
This variety of peppercorns are the unripe versions of black peppercorns. It is processed by pickling or preserved in brine or vinegar. Afterwards, it is dried. Yet because it decays quickly after being dried, it must be used within a couple of days. Green peppercorns have a mild peppery flavor and a bright aroma. Similar to black peppercorns, it can be use on steak, chicken, pork, fish, toast, sauces and dips, soups, soft cheeses, beans and vegetables.
On the other hand, white peppercorns are black pepper that had its skin removed. The seeds remain to be used as seasoning. When tasted, white peppercorns have an earthy, spicy zest, and they taste great as a seasoning in mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, creamy soups and white sauces.
Pink peppercorns are not actually a true peppercorn, but rather it’s a Brazilian berry. Because it’s different from the green peppercorns, these pink variety has a subtly sweet, floral and fruity flavor and brightens the taste of pork and seafood dishes. The beautiful color is therefore used as a pretty garnish for desserts!
What dishes have you used peppercorn in? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!