The Spice Journal, Pepper, Art 3
Black pepper is obtained from the pepper plant which is allowed to grow for a minimum of three years and after this time, small flowers form, which then develop into berries. The commonly found trio of black, white and green peppercorns all come from the same flowering plant but are harvested at various stages of growth.
Green peppercorns are the immature and unripe peppercorns. They are then dried until they shrivel and turn dark brown or black in colour giving us the familiar black pepper. White peppercorns are actually black peppercorns with the outer casing removed once they have been soaked in water.
The pepper plant is indigenous to India and gradually began to make its way eastwards to Southeast Asia where it is now also cultivated and grown. Some of the major producers of black pepper nowadays are India (Malabar or Tellicherry varierty), Indonesia (Lampong variety), Vietnam (Phu Quoc variety), Cambodia (Kampot variety), and Malaysia (Sarawak variety).
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