Salt is the spice that is used the most, but peppercorn is the spice that is traded the most around the world. And even though it's called the king of spices, it's a fruit. Yes, a fruit. The black pepper vine is in the family Piperaceae. It makes peppercorns, which are the dried fruits of the pepper plant.
What are peppercorns?
The fruit of the Piper nigrum plant gives us black, green, and white pepper. How the pepper is made affects what colour it is. Green peppercorns grow on "spikes" on the vines of the pepper plant. The peppercorns are small, hard, green, berry-like fruits that grow on the spikes. When the spike starts to turn red, but most of the fruit is still green, the fruit is ready to be picked. The pepper is then frozen, pickled while it is still green, dried until it is black, or the husks are taken off to make white pepper. Peppercorns come in three different kinds:
The dried fruit that is green peppercorns is not yet ripe. White peppercorns are made by taking the skin off peppercorn fruits that are almost ready to ripen. Most pepper is made from black peppercorns that have been cooked and then dried.
Types of peppercorns:
This is probably the type you know best. Along with table salt, ground black pepper has been used in American kitchens for a long time.
Green peppercorns are turned into black peppercorns by cooking and drying them in the sun.
Green peppercorns have been around since prehistoric times. They are black peppercorns that are not yet ripe or cooked.
These are usually kept in brine or vinegar and served pickled.
If you don't have any green peppercorns that have been pickled, you can use pickled capers instead. When both ingredients are pickled, they get a tangy flavour that isn't there when they are raw. But keep in mind that they don't taste exactly the same, so use your best judgement before making big changes to a recipe. Green peppercorns taste more peppery, while capers have a strong citrus flavour.
White pepper is also likely to be mostly ground when you meet it. Even though a lot of people think they are the same, ground white pepper is milder than ground black pepper. Because of this, you shouldn't really use one in place of the other in recipes where the taste of the pepper is important.
Health benefits of peppercorns:
Increases nutrient absorption: It makes nutrients like vitamins A and C, selenium, beta-carotene, and others more bioavailable, which is good for one's overall health.
- Stimulates the appetite, especially the sense of smell, and makes the appetite better.
- Helps you lose weight. The phytonutrients in the outer layer of peppercorns help break down fat cells.
- Peppercorns have antimicrobial properties that help clear up congestion in the respiratory tract.
- It can help fight cancer, especially colon and breast cancer, and it works even better when taken with turmeric.
- Arthritis is fought against by the anti-inflammatory properties of Piperine Nigerum. It makes the blood flow better and relieves pain and swelling in the joints between the fingers.
- Pepper helps prevent other diseases as well, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
- It helps with digestive problems like indigestion, gas, constipation, and bloating.