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Pepper is a dried fruit derived from vinous plants in the family of piperaceae and is usually used as the spice. Dried pepper is usually known as peppercorn and it is the most traded spice in the history of mankind. Known as “King of Spices” or “Vegetable Gold”, black pepper was the pillar of spice trade between India and Europe. Pepper is one of the most used spices around the world  and is also an integral ingredient in many alternative medicines prepared in India.

Alternate Indian Names – Jaluk, Gol morich ( Assamese), Golmorich ( Bengali), Kali Mirch ( Dogri), Mari ( Gujarati), Gol Mirch, Kali Mirch, Gulki ( Hindi), Menasu ( Kannada), Marts ( Kashmiri), Kurumulaku and Yavanapriyam ( Malayalam), Mire ( Marathi), Gola maricha, Maricha ( Oriya), Gulki Marich ( Santali), Marica, Vella, Krishnan, Krishnadi ( Sanskrit), Milagu, Yavanappiriyam ( Tamil), Miriyalu, Miriyamu, Savyamu ( Telugu), Edde munchi ( Tulu).

Pepper Grades – In international market we have two variants. Garbled Malabar Black Pepper and Ungarbled Malabar Black Pepper

Types– Black pepper, white pepper, wild pepper, red and orange pepper, pink pepper and green pepper.  Peppercorns are distinguished by their region of cultivation, such as Malabar pepper and Tellicherry pepper (most well-known varieties of black pepper in India), white Muntok pepper (Indonesia), Kampot pepper ( Cambodia). 

Sensory Quality and Flavor – Aromatic, pungent and fresh. The black pepper is very fiery and pungent, however the green pepper has herbaceous and milder flavour.  The green and black peppercorns are aromatic than red and white ones. Pink peppercorns posess sugary–sweet taste and they also retain mature pungency of the black pepper.

Purchase and Storage – Pepper is best when purchased whole. Freshly ground pepper is always better than the already grounded pepper. Whole peppercorns have fresh flavour, but they will lose their aroma and heat after grounding. Peppercorns are usually grounded in the mixer or mortar and pestle, before adding to dishes. Dried green peppercorns are sometimes soaked in water before mashing into the paste. Peppercorns quickly lose their flavour and heat by evaporation, so they should be stored in airtight containers away from sunlight and moisture.

Read More about Culinary Uses and Health Benefits

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