Black Pepper - How To Use

(Also Known as Peppercorn)


Black pepper is hot and spicy with notes of citrus.  It holds the title 'The King of Spices', validating its position with its residency on most tabletops worldwide. This spice is so versatile and omnipresent that we tend to take it for granted. "Pass the pepper, please."

Vietnam is the top producer of this spice with other major producers including India. However, it is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. 

What's the difference between black and white pepper?

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. It is best when freshly ground (otherwise, it can lose its flavour).  

What flavours go with black pepper?

  • Caraway Seed
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Pineapple
  • Plums (Tart)
  • Rosemary
  • Strawberry
  • Thyme
  • Tomato

Our 14th Century Catalan savoury blend is a superb example of black pepper working with some of the above such as garlic, oregano, thyme and tomato. This is a delicious all-purpose tomatoey seasoning with hints of herby, peppery and citrusy notes. The reason why black pepper goes well with the unusual combination of strawberry acidity is that it draws out the sweetness. It gives the perfect kick of spice. The Italian celebrity chef Aldo Zilli demonstrates this with a strawberry, orange prosecco and black pepper tiramisu. 

Health Benefits 

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) is a naturally occurring alkaloid, it is a key bio-active element.


Blends to try with Black Pepper

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue we'll assume that you are understand this. Learn more