All About White Pepper & Black Pepper

All About White Pepper & Black Pepper

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All About White Pepper & Black Pepper

Piper nigrum L.
Plant Family: Piperaceae
Origin: India

- The plant is a flowering vine native to Southern India.
- Extensively cultivated in India and other tropical regions. Vietnam has become the world's largest producer.
- Was widely traded even in Europe as early as the 1st century.
- The word "pepper" has roots in the Sanskrit word pippali.
- The fruit is a drupe (a drupe is a fruit with a single seed inside, like a peach)

Black Pepper:
- The fruit for black peppercorns are picked from the vine green just before they ripen and turn red.
- The fruit are cooked briefly in hot water, this ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes dry out for several days, during this time the fruit around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dry, the spice is called black peppercorn. Some still use a traditional method where the fruits are sun-dried without the boiling process.

White Pepper:
- Same plant, same fruit.
- White pepper consists solely of the seed of the pepper plant, with the darker-coloured skin of the pepper fruit removed. 
- The fruit are allowed to fully ripen before being picked.
- Traditionally fully ripe pepper fruit are soaked in water for a week, during this time the outer flesh softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the remaining naked seed is dried.
- But now… chemical and mechanical processes replicate the traditional methods in less time.
- This gives white pepper a slightly different / softer flavour than black pepper; it lacks the flavour compounds present in the outer layer of the drupe.

Green and Red:Green and Red:
Green pepper is made by chemically treating or pickling unripe berries to retain their colour.
Red pepper is made by chemically treating or pickling unripe berries to retain their colour.

Storage info:
- Pepper loses flavour and aroma through evaporation, so airtight storage helps preserve its spiciness longer. 
- Pepper can also lose flavour when exposed to light, which can transform piperine into nearly tasteless isochavicine
- Once ground, pepper's aromatics can evaporate quickly; so grind it just before you use it.

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Behind The Recipe - Developing A Recipe

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