Black Peppercorn

$8.12

Black pepper is a fruit? No way!  This ubiquitous ‘spice,’ is the most common in the modern world as a seasoning, only topped by table salt for global love.

4 oz./112 g.

Sold By: Spice Jungle

Product Description

PURPOSE

WHAT IS IT?

Black pepper is a fruit? Yep. It’s one of the most plentiful of the common spicing agents in the world. About 400,000 tons are grown each year. That’s over 20% of the world’s total spice production globally, and one of the foundations of global trade for over four-thousand years!

It can be found right beside table salt on most North American, and European tables, and almost universally in kitchens.

It’s actually a  fruit, of a flowering vine, piper nigrum, that can grow as high as 30 ft. / 9 m. high! The berries grow in clusters. They are usually dried. Depending upon subspecies, they can be black, green, or white. Pink peppercorns are not pepper, but a tree nut that is a member of the cashew family.

EXPERIENCE

Black pepper is pungent, and mildly spicy, due to the chemical piperine, an alkaloid that produces a mild burning sensation, similar to capsaicin found in chili peppers, but different because it dulls the nervous system to its effects, making the burn short-lived, which is why it has become an ideal source of a quick “spicy” fix.

It affects human taste reception in the same way that vanilla does: It is quickly received, and processed for its effects by the brain.

Depending upon the subspecies, there are notes of citrus, wood, or leather observed by tasters.

It can be used whole, cracked, or ground. There is some evidence that it is a mild antioxidant, and good for blood pressure.

CULINARY GEOGRAPHY

Black pepper is native to south India, but Vietnam currently produces the world’s largest supply, producing about a third of the world’s total consumption. India, Brazil, and Indonesia produce most of the rest of the world’s supply.

TRADITIONAL USES

  • Omelettes;
  • Nasi goering (Indonesia);
  • Roasted chicken;.
  • Cacio e Pepe (Italian pasta).

A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:

  • Cracked pepper and vanilla scented shrimp stir fry;
  • Dark chocolate with brandied apricots and black peppercorns;
  • Cracked pepper roasted carrots;
  • Pepper and turmeric scallops.

THE BACKSTORY

For millennia, black pepper was more valuable than gold. Peppercorns were used in place of actual coin of whatever realm to which a trader might journey. Peppercorn rent is a term for a token of payment for something that is, essentially, being given.

Peppercorns, used in Indian cooking, have been a staple since at least 2000 BCE. The dominant spice in Europe, from the 13th century Venetian, and Genoese, traders struck a deal with Arab spice merchants, locking up the supply lines into Europe. That sent prices soaring.

Christopher Columbus sailed, for the Queen of Spain, in search of a ‘shortcut’ to India, to open access to black pepper, and bypass the trade routes, by land, and sea, that were controlled by the Italians.

Peppercorns were grown in Malaysia, and Thailand, but, until the 21st century, India’s Kerala state, on the Malabar coast,  were the most highly prized growers.

HEALTH

Some research suggests that black pepper reduces, or eliminates heterocyclic amines (HCA),  the cancer-causing chemicals that form when meat is charred or cooked at high temperatures.  It can also aid the body in absorbing the health properties of natural chemicals in red wine that improve brain function, and reduce heart disease.

AKA

  • barkono
  • basbaas
  • biber
  • bors
  • burç
  • bżar
  • îsota reş
  • korenie
  • kua txob
  • mhiripiri
  • murch
  • ose
  • papar
  • paprika
  • peber
  • pebre
  • Peffer
  • pelepele
  • pementa
  • pepe
  • peper
  • pepere
  • peppar
  • pepper
  • pepř
  • Pfeffer
  • pieprz
  • pilipili
  • Pimenta
  • pimienta
  • piobar
  • pipar
  • pipari
  • piper
  • pippuri
  • poivre
  • poper
  • pupur
  • tiêu
  • tsabola
  • upelepele
  • urusenda
  • πιπέρι
  • бибер
  • борыч
  • бұрыш
  • калемпир
  • перец
  • перець
  • пипер
  • филфил
  • чинжүү
  • წიწაკა
  • պղպեղ
  • ‎פעפער
  • تور مرچ
  • ‎فلفل
  • ‎قىزىلمۇچ
  • ‎کالیمرچ
  • ‎مرچ
  • በርበሬ
  • मरिच
  • मिरपूड
  • मिर्च
  • মরিচ
  • ਮਿਰਚ
  • મરી
  • ହଳଦ
  • மிளகு
  • పెప్పర్
  • ಮೆಣಸು
  • കുരുമുളക്
  • ගම්මිරිස්
  • พริกไทย
  • ငရုတ်ကောင်း
  • ម្រេច
  • 후추
  • コショウ
  • 胡椒

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