Pepper

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 23, 2016)

Without a doubt pepper is one of, if not the single, most desired spice around the world. Pepper (also known by its formal name as Piper nigrum) is frequently used to add a little spice to just about every meal of the day, and has been for more than five millennia now.

There are two common types of pepper that are used in cooking. The first, black pepper, is the traditional American favorite. White pepper, the other type of pepper, is also a favorite with some in the United States, but is more popular overseas. The pepper spice actually comes from the fruit, or berries, of a perennial climbing vine. These berries often have the appearance of currant berries, since they are small, red, and clustered together on the vine.

The main difference between black and white pepper is when the berries are actually picked. For black pepper, the berries are picked prior to them being fully ripe. After they have been dried out, they begin to take on the appearance of the familiar black pepper corn, which has a black appearance on the outside but has a white interior. The white pepper is picked a little later in the season, when the fruit has actually become more ripe. As a result of this, there is a more mellow and often a slightly sweeter taste. White pepper gets its name from the fact that the black husk is often removed, and therefore has an often white look.

Most of the pepper found in the world actually comes from the Malabar coast of India, and because of this the names for the variety of peppers usually reflect this influence. For example there are Alleppey, Calicut, and Sarawak white peppers to name just a few. Typically speaking, pepper is usually considered the single most masculine and no-nonsense of the spices. Pepper is used when you are looking for a quick and simple way to spice up your food with little attempt for subtlety.

Pepper is used for more than just seasoning your food. Some of the other uses that people use pepper for include everything from getting rid of ants around the home to fixing a leak in your radiator. One of the more long lasting uses for pepper throughout history is as a defensive weapon. Pepper spray is the modern incarnation of this defensive weapon, and is effective due to the main spicy ingredient in pepper, piperine. The greater the concentration of this compound in pepper, the stronger or "hotter" the spice will be.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Removing Food Stains from Carpeting

If you have carpeting in your home, then you know how difficult it can be to keep this resilient material clean. If you have ...

Discover More

Saving Money for Retirement

Saving money for retirement should be the goal of everyone, though unfortunately not everyone takes the opportunity to do so. ...

Discover More

Protecting Painted Floors

Painting floors has long been a method for protecting them from damage and dirt, and other forms of wear and tear. However, ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Spice Racks

Spice racks are a necessity for the truly enthusiastic home chef. Without a properly organized and stocked spice rack, the ...

Discover More

Choosing a Cooking Oil

Different cooking oils do so many different things and so you need to know when to use what cooking oil and what the ...

Discover More

Cinnamon and Cassia

If you have ever wondered what cinnamon or cassia were, or you have simply wanted to know a little bit more about these ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)