Pepper is one of the most well-known spices in domestic kitchens and is a must-have in every spice rack. No wonder pepper is considered the ultimate staple spice. Besides its fiery flavor, the tropical climbing plant has much more to offer. Discover the different types of pepper and their potential positive effects in this article!
Pepper Comes in Various Forms
Pepper belongs to the Piperaceae family, a tropical climbing plant that can reach heights of up to 15 meters and originates from India. It is cultivated on 5-meter-high poles in places like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, or East Africa. Each plant yields about 4 kilograms of peppercorns. Overall, up to 30 million kilograms of pepper are produced, of which only 2% is traded. The rest is consumed in the producing countries.
Pepper comes in different varieties, including black, white, and green pepper. Black pepper is produced by harvesting the peppercorns before they fully ripen and then drying them in warmth. Its robust and spicy flavor sets it apart. White pepper is harvested when ripe and then fermented or soaked in water. This process removes the fruit's husk, leaving behind the light-colored seed. White pepper is milder as a result. For green pepper, unripe fruits are soaked in saltwater.
Pepper can be more or less hot and pungent in taste, depending on the type of pepper. This sharpness and heat have invigorating effects, particularly on the nervous sensory system. It enhances focus and vitality. However, pepper also has a stimulating effect on the entire body. According to Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal, pepper activates digestive juices, aiding in better digestion of food. Pepper can also provide relief from diarrhea, sore throats, and colds. Additionally, pepper can activate the immune system.
Pepper in the Kitchen
Pepper is a classic addition to soups, salads, and vegetable dishes. White pepper, with its mild flavor, is also well-suited for light sauces, in our opinion. It also pairs excellently with rice dishes. Proper dosing is crucial when using the spicy and flavorful spice pepper. Particularly in whole foods cooking, it should be used carefully to avoid overpowering more delicate flavors and to leave ample room for other spice profiles.
"Adding a good amount of pepper" is not just a saying without reason. Pepper not only adds a good kick of flavor to dishes but also invigorates the body and mind!
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