Black pepper a fruit of one of the species of pepper (piperaceae) vine, harvested and dried at a moderate temperature. In the presence of heat, the raw green pepper fruit berries turn black due to an enzymatic reaction.
Pungent and aromatic, black pepper contains about 3% essential oil, whose aroma is dominated (max. 80%) by monoterpenes and Sessquiterpenes make up about 20% of the essential oil. Piperine is responsible for giving the pepper its pungent qualities.
Grown traditionally in South India for centuries, black pepper is today available in other countries namely; Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brazil. Black pepper is sold as berries or as ground pepper, Pepper berries are differentiated mainly on the basis of their bulk density, moisture and level of impurities.
While black pepper is obtained from drying of the unripe green fruits of the piperraceae vine; white pepper is obtained from the ripened red pepper fruit of the same species. The ripe red fruits of the pepper cannot dry the black pepper, because, due of their sugar content, they would rot quickly. Therefore, the outer hull of the fruit (exocarp and mesocarp) is removed mechanically after soaking in water of several days; afterwards, the remainder is dried. Therefore, white pepper consists of not the whole fruit, but of the seed grain only which is creamy-white in colour, more pungent but less aromatic than black pepper
Black pepper is a universal table condiment used in flavoring all types of dishes in cuisines worldwide. It is commonly used in stock, pickling, and sausages as well as in preparing spicy meat stews, steaks, sauces and all kinds of vegetable dishes. White pepper is used for light sauces, where pungency is preferred over fragrance. In India black pepper is also used in the manufacture of herbal tooth powders, post meal digestives and as a herbal cure for stomach ailments.
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