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Perfume of Pepper

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Peppercorns are part of the piperaceae family. Members of this family may be small trees, shrubs or herbs. The distribution of this group is best described as pantropical.

The most well known species is Piper Nigrum, which yields most peppercorns that are used in spices, including black pepper.

The same plant can produce 3 types of peppercorns: What makes them different is the time of harvest and the treatment.

  • Green peppercorns are the immature berries that are rapidly placed into brine so that they stay soft. It is used in green peppercorn sauces (that go well with steaks) or cream sauces. It's a good compliment to stuffing, pies and marinades. It also goes well with duck and pork.
  • Black pepper is harvested before full maturity. It's sun-dried or artificially dried and it keeps its wrinkled appearance.
  • White pepper is harvested when the corn is very mature. Thin bark is removed, leaving only the core. It has a sweeter flavor that mixes well with poultry and sauces.

Fake pepper is a spice!

  • Pink peppercorn is not a vinous pepper; it comes from the French island of Reunion. Pink peppercorns have a brittle, papery pink skin enclosing a hard, irregular seed, much smaller than the whole fruit. It gives a peppery note to dishes.
  • Cayenne pepper is marketed under the name pepper, but it's a spice composed of a variety of dried chili peppers reduced in powder, which gives it a very strong flavor. Try it in stews!
  • The Sichuan pepper comes from a shrub in China. This spice gives the food a floral and slightly spicy flavor. It tastes delicious in Chinese recipes.
  • Four-spice mix is a blend of pepper, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and sometimes allspice. It goes well in Middle-Eastern recipes.
  • Five-spice powder is a blend of pink pepper, white, black, green and allspice.

Spice up your life with these recipes

Carrots with Ginger Roots and Four-Spice Mix

Brown thin slices of ginger in butter until it becomes crispy. Mix with grated carrots. Just before serving, season with the four-spice mix.

Spinach Salad with Sichuan Pepper

Add Sichuan pepper to the spinach salad, with parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice.

Pineapple and Mango with Jamaican Pepper

Prepare a syrup by incorporating Jamaican pepper. Add pineapple slices, mango and simmer until tender.

Black Pepper and Citrus Fruit

To spice up your preparation of citrus fruit, desserts, ice creams, sherbets or side dishes, season with a hint of black pepper just before serving grapefruit or orange slices. This spicy flavour will add a surprising taste to your dishes.