Black Pepper - How To Use

(Also Known as Peppercorn)


With hot, spicy and citrus notes, Vietnam is the top producer of this spice with other major producers including, India. However, it is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Black pepper is so versatile and omnipresent that we tend to take it for granted. Pepper is best when freshly ground (otherwise, it can lose its flavour). White pepper is milder than black pepper and less aromatic. Black pepper is similar to chilli because it doesn't give flavour or fragrance per se. It gives us an intense heat sensation.  Peppercorns lose their properties quickly when exposed to air. Black Pepper is 'The King of Spices', validating its position with its residency on most tabletops worldwide. "Pass the pepper, please." 


Black pepper is well known as a digestive aid in traditional medicine. It is high in antioxidants, great for relieving flatulence, great for weight loss and helps you sweat. Surprisingly, white pepper is hotter than black pepper.

Interesting Facts

  • The trading of Black pepper has existed for 3,500 years. Alexander the Great brought black pepper to Europe in the 4th Century along the new trade routes. Black Pepper has an extensive history of being a high-priced commodity and currency, with Arab traders using it as a monopoly for transport to Europe. You can imagine that the Camelērs were not only moving black pepper, but they were also paying with black pepper.
  • Building on the currency element of Black Pepper, the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama took control of the source of black pepper in the 15th Century, discovering a sea route to southwest India. For the following 100 years, the Portuguese took control of the black pepper trade. In the 1600's they lost their control to the Dutch, who themselves lost control to the British in the 18th Century, as the British took control of the spice trade in the tropics. 

Chief flavour compound

Piperine: (hot, pungent and spicy) as a natural occurring alkaloid, it is a key bio-active element.

Blends to try with Black Pepper

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