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Spices Unearthed: Black & White Pepper

what is the difference between black and white pepper? does white and black pepper taste the same?

Not every decision on what spice to use is black and white, especially between peppers.

That’s because black and white pepper are from the same fruit of the pepper vine. They both have bite, but black pepper has a more citrusy, flowery taste, while white pepper is more bitter and has a pungent, slightly repulsive smell.

Why the difference?

Black pepper is the unripe, green fruit (drupe), cooked, and then dried until it shrivels and turns black. And white pepper is the ripe, dark red fruit, that’s soaked in water for a week to ferment and remove the skin, leaving only the white seed to be dried. After processing, both are referred to as peppercorn, which can be used in whole form, or if you don’t want to break a tooth, in cracked or ground form.

Everyone is familiar with black pepper. Once called “black gold”, it is the most widely consumed spice in the world, and has been for thousands of years. While white pepper is not as well known, you will taste it in many dishes throughout Asia.

Both peppers add that wonderful spiciness to food. That heat comes from a substance called piperine, which may make you sneeze, but will also increase your metabolism, help your body absorb nutrients from the food you eat, and aid in digestion by stimulating your taste buds and alerting your stomach to get ready.

So the next time you reach for the salt shaker, try adding more pepper first.


Maja said...

I adore black & white :) Nice story!

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