Are You Aware Of The Many Varieties Of Pepper?

The little, wrinkly peppercorn has been crucial to the development of cuisine. Due to its almost universal popularity and the impact satisfying its demand has on international trade and exploration, it is the most significant spice in the world. It has been believed to have medicinal properties for a long time; Sanskrit medical texts from more than 3,000 years ago provide instructions on how to use it. Rent and dowries were occasionally given in pepper during the fifth century. When Rome was invaded by the Germanic tribes in 408 CE, 3,000 pounds of peppercorns were part of the ransom payment for the city's deliverance. Pepper was worth more than its weight in gold at its peak value.  

Pepper's unique flavour, which can be pungent, earthy, spicy, woody, or boisterous, somehow complements a wide variety of savoury dishes as well as some desserts. Black pepper intensifies the flavours of meals, just like salt does for flavours. The term "pepper" is used to denote a wide variety of sorts and cultivars that are available in a rainbow of hues, grades, and quality. 

Black Pepper: Green berries grow on the vine before becoming black peppercorns. The spikes are taken after the bunch of berries has reached full ripeness and the initial berries turn from green to dark red. The sun then shrivels them into puckered, dark brownish spheres that we refer to as "black" peppercorns. The flavour of a peppercorn improves and intensifies with size, and the largest peppercorns are separated into the highest classes. 

Green Pepper: Young peppercorns begin as green and get darker as they get older, just like other fruits do. Green peppercorns are still ripening after being harvested (just like bananas). A brine was once used to pickle green peppercorns in the past, but with to advancements in drying technology, this practise is less popular now. When compared to older, black peppercorns, green peppercorns lack the deep complexity. Similar to how a green tomato differs from a ripe red tomato—the green is younger and tastes fresher, not as fully developed as the red but still excellent on its own terms—the red tomato is riper and tastes more complete. Black peppercorns lack the zesty brightness that green peppercorns do, and they also don't have the fruity life that green peppercorns do. A milder, more vibrant flavour can be achieved by substituting green pepper for black pepper. 

White Pepper: White peppercorns don't have the distinctive creases found on black peppercorns, as may be seen by closely inspecting them. This is so that all white peppercorns, which are harvested when ripe, first begin life as tiny black peppercorns. These peppercorns aren't dried out, but instead placed under running water or allowed to soak; the water dissolves the fruit's skin, leaving a burnished white-gray tint in its place. The difference in size between white and black peppercorns is also due to this. 

The flavour of black peppercorns and white peppercorns are very dissimilar. The way they are processed gives them a floral, more delicate yet pungent, fruity, flowery spiciness with a sense of fermentation instead of the deep, nuanced, and biting qualities of black pepper. While white pepper is not very well-liked in the United States, it is quite well-liked in Europe and some regions of Asia. Asian soups like hot and sour soup and stir-fry dishes also feature its bite. 

Cubeb and Long Pepper: The real pepper plant is used to produce the above black, white, and green peppercorns. However, the Piper family also includes the cubeb pepper and the long pepper. Even though both were formerly common in ancient Rome, Greece, and portions of China, they are now only curiosities that can only be purchased in specialised spice shops. Yet, both are excellent additions to your spice collection, particularly if you have a strong preference for black pepper. Long pepper, one of the most attractive-looking spices in its complete form, adds a splash of spice that is reminiscent of the pungent flavour of ginger. It is spicier and sweeter than regular black pepper. The cubeb pepper, also known as Java, Benin, and tailed pepper, has a stinging, astringent flavour with a hint of nutmeg-like heat. Black pepper can be replaced with either long or cubeb peppers. Long pepper gives a very intriguing, complex flavour, making it a fantastic addition to dishes like beef, stews, and poultry when a lot of pepper is added at the table. 

Pink Pepper: A fruit similar in size to black peppercorns called pink pepper belongs to the cashew family. It has a rich flavour that is pleasantly sweet, vibrant, fruity, and spicy just enough to be pleasant. When used with black pepper in meals containing game and poultry, it gives meat dishes a revitalising flavour. When used alone, its delicate flavour perfectly complements blander meals like eggs, chicken, and white fish. Pink pepper is a flavour that works incredibly well in chocolate and is becoming more and more well-liked in ice cream. 

Sichuan Pepper: Chinese cuisine has long used sichuan pepper as a basic ingredient. It doesn't taste much like black pepper, but it has a distinct numbing effect that resembles the spiciness of real pepper in some ways. It also smells fantastic. Sichuan's numbing heat makes it a logical accompaniment to meals like hot fried chicken and others that emphasise hot spice, such as chilli sauces, kung pao chicken and tofu, and dry-rubbed meats. 

Sansho Pepper: Sansho pepper, a Japanese relative of Sichuan pepper, gives the tongue an even sharper numbing and tingling feeling. Sansho, like Sichuan pepper, is frequently added to already spicy seasonings, may give intrigue to practically any rice dish, and is used to balance the fatty flavours of pork, eel, and rich mushrooms. Ramen is becoming more and more popular with its electrifying feeling as a topping.