Pepper is a spice that is commonly used in a wide variety of dishes to add flavor and heat. There are many different types of pepper available, each with its own unique taste and heat level. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of pepper and when to use them in cooking.
1. Black pepper: Black pepper is the most commonly used type of pepper. It is made from the unripe green fruit of the pepper plant Piper Nigrum, which is cooked and dried until it turns black. Black pepper has a strong, pungent flavor and is often used to add heat and depth of flavor to dishes. It is also a key ingredient in many spice blends.
Piper Nigrum is grown in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brazil. The black pepper from Brazil tastes different from the Asian varieties, probably due to the different climate, soil and method of harvesting. Since ancient times, black pepper from India has been considered the best, especially that grown in the city of Tellicherry. Other spices that go with black pepper are: white pepper, green pepper, allspice, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, juniper, paprika, coriander, cumin, saffron, ginger, basil, oregano, mint and garlic.
2. White pepper: White pepper is made from the ripe fruit of the pepper plant (Piper Nigrum, the same plant as black pepper), which is soaked in water until the outer layers of the fruit soften and can be easily removed. The resulting seed is then dried until it turns white. White pepper is grown in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Brazil. Indonesia accounts for the largest production of white pepper and the one that comes from the island of Bangka is considered the finest.
White pepper goes well with fish and shellfish, pork, veal and lamb, bechamel sauce, spinach, cauliflower, mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, cream sauces, and white soups.
White pepper has a milder flavor than black pepper and is often used in dishes where a more subtle heat is desired and it is commonly used in light-colored dishes where black pepper would be visible.
White pepper goes well with black pepper, green pepper, allspice, bay leaves, nutmeg, tarragon, ginger, chives and capers.
3. Green pepper: Green pepper is made from unripe pepper fruit that is picked before it has a chance to turn red or black. Harvesting takes place six months after flowering.
Green pepper has a fresher, more grassy flavor than black or white pepper and is often used in dishes where a more subtle heat is desired.
There are three ways to preserve green peppers: pickled in vinegar or brine, air-dried, and freeze-dried. Although green pepper is grown in Brazil, Madagascar, India, Malaysia, and Madagascar, it was in Madagascar that vinegar first started to be mixed with fresh pepper. France saw a huge increase in the product's popularity, which then expanded to the rest of Europe. In Europe, one of the most well-liked dishes of the 1970s was steak with green pepper sauce.
White pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, tarragon, candle, chervil, parsley, garlic, and mustard go nicely with green pepper.
Green pepper goes well with fish and shellfish, veal and lamb, pork, chicken, dairy products, and is often used light sauces, salads, sandwiches, and marinades.
4. Red pepper: Red pepper, also known as chili pepper or cayenne pepper, is a type of pepper that is very hot and spicy. It is made from dried and ground chili peppers and is often used in spicy dishes, sauces, and rubs. Red pepper is commonly used in Mexican, Indian, and Southeast Asian cuisine. Read more about the health benefits of red pepper here.
5. Pink pepper: Pink pepper is not actually a type of pepper, but rather the dried berries of the Brazilian pepper tree. It has a sweet, slightly fruity flavor and is often used as a decorative garnish or in light-colored dishes where black pepper would be visible.
The pink pepper has a rich and floral aroma with a sweet violet, slightly fruity flavor, others say it tastes similar to juniper and coriander, albeit a little weaker and sweeter. Pink pepper goes well with fish and shellfish, veal and lamb, chicken, light sauces, pasta dishes, dairy products, desserts and as a decoration. If you would like to try a recipe that calls for pink peppercorns, check out this delicious pork tenderloin casserole recipe.
Pink pepper does not belong to the pepper family, but comes from the pink pepper tree, which is a tropical tree about 10 meters high. The spice itself is the small, round drupe that is surrounded by a thin pink skin. Pink pepper is available as air-dried, freeze-dried and fresh pickled in vinegar.
The pink pepper is grown in South America and Central America. The biggest producers are Brazil and the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. At both plant sites, the pink pepper tree grows wild.
Pink pepper goes well with spices such as black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, vanilla, ginger, oregano and coriander.
The pink pepper tree is part of the cashew family. Like many other species in this family, it is allergenic. If you are allergic to things like cashews and pistachios, you should be careful when eating pink pepper.
In conclusion, each type of pepper has its own unique flavor and heat level, and the type you choose will depend on the dish you are making and your personal taste preferences. Experiment with different types of pepper in your cooking to find the one that works best for you!