About Whole Black Peppercorns
Black pepper is and has always been the most traded spice in the world. It is a staple of nearly every cuisine and is frequently offered up as a table seasoning alongside the salt shaker. Whole black Tellichery peppercorns are produced from the green, unripe drupes (sometimes referred to as berries) of the pepper plant (Piper nigrum). Not to be confused with the chili pepper species, which derives its spice from capsaicin — the black peppercorn gets its spice from the chemical piperine.
If you don’t have a pepper mill, you really should consider purchasing one. Once whole black peppercorns are ground, they quickly begin to lose their aromatics. We recommend grinding whole peppercorns immediately before use for maximum flavor.
History of black peppercorns
Pepper is native to South Asia (most notably India) and Southeast Asia, dating back to at least 2000 BCE. From there, the spice made its way via trade to China, the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and eventually the New World.
Black pepper was such a prized good, it was often referred to as “black gold”. In the Middle Ages, pepper was a luxury item enjoyed by only the wealthiest of consumers. Over the centuries however, as the spice trade expanded and once-dominant nations lost their monopolies, black pepper became a common commodity, affordable to all.
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