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What is pepper and where does it come from?

Herbs
Herbs

What is Pepper?

Pepper is a spice that is widely used in the kitchen because of its sharp and spicy taste. It is made from the dried berries of the pepper plant, which is mainly grown in India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The different pepper types

There are different types of pepper such as black pepper, white pepper and green pepper. Black pepper is made from the dried, unripe berries of the pepper plant. White pepper is made from the ripe berries of the pepper plant, with the outer layer removed. Green pepper is made from the unripe berries of the pepper plant that have been pickled in vinegar or brine.

Pepper is often used in savory dishes such as meat, fish and vegetables to add flavor. It can also be used as a finishing touch on dishes such as salads and soups. In addition to its pungent taste, pepper also has some health benefits, such as stimulating digestion and improving nutrient absorption.

The introduction of pepper in European kitchens

Pepper has been an important ingredient in European cuisine for centuries and has a rich history. Pepper originally comes from Southeast Asia and was brought to Europe by traders.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were big fans of pepper and used it a lot in their dishes. However, it was very expensive and was considered a luxury item available only to the wealthy. In the Middle Ages, pepper was so valuable that it was used as currency and was considered one of the most important spices driving trade routes from Asia to Europe.

During the Renaissance, the demand for pepper increased and European countries, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, began to establish trading posts in Asia to control and dominate the spice trade. This led to a dramatic drop in pepper prices, making it available to a wider audience.

Since then, pepper has become an essential part of European cuisine and is widely used in a variety of dishes ranging from meat dishes to soups and sauces. In modern times, there are many different types of pepper available, ranging from mild to very spicy, and it is often used to add flavor to dishes and serve as a stimulant for the taste buds.

So you can say that this spice has a long and rich history in European cuisine and remains a popular ingredient to this day that is used to add flavor to a wide variety of dishes.

If you like spicy, choose the peppers of these pepper plants (no pepper berries)

There are many different types of peppers that are considered very spicy, but some of the hottest include:

  1. Carolina Reaper – This is currently the hottest pepper in the world. It has an average Scoville scale value of 1,6 million, with peaks reaching over 2 million. This pepper has a fruity taste, but the heat is overpowering and can last for a long time.
  2. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion – This pepper was once the hottest in the world and still has an average Scoville scale value of 1,2 million. It has a fruity flavor with an intense burning sensation that can last.
  3. Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) – This pepper was the hottest in the world for a long time and still has an average Scoville scale value of 1 million. It has a smoky, fruity flavor and an intense heat that can last for several minutes.
  4. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T – This pepper has an average Scoville scale value of 1,4 million and has a fruity, floral flavor with an incredibly spicy kick that can last for several minutes.
  5. Naga Viper – This pepper has an average Scoville scale value of 1,3 million and has a fruity, sweet flavor with an extreme spiciness.

How to deal with peppercorns?

Pepper can be purchased as whole berries (peppercorns) or ground in powder form. It is important to keep it tightly closed to preserve the taste and aroma. In general, pepper can be called an indispensable spice in the kitchen because of the pungent and spicy taste it gives to dishes.