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Peppercorns

Guide to Peppercorns

Peppercorns are essentially berries of the Pepper Plant (Piper nigrum), a climbing vine.

Black: Berries that are picked just before they mature. When dried, they form a wrinkly skin. Black peppercorns have the strongest flavor.

Malabar are regarded as having the finest flavor of the four mass-produced peppercorns; the others being Lampong, Brazilian and Sarawak. Tellicherry is a higher quality grade of Malabar. Tellicherry are larger, more mature, with a fuller flavor.

White: Allowed to ripen longer on the vine, then soaked with water, the black shell of the peppercorn becomes loose and is removed to produce a pepper that is less noticeable in light colored foods, but that also gives it a rich, lightly-fermented flavor very prized by European cooks. Commonly called for in white sauces.

Green: Berries that are picked when very immature, resulting in a very light flavor. Packed either dry or with liquid, the dry having the better flavor. They can be ground in a pepper mill or even crushed between two spoons. Their fresh flavor combines especially well with fish, poultry, eggs, salads and steamed vegetables.

Pink or Rose: Not peppercorns, but berries of the Baies rose, which are similar in size and in flavor, from Madagascar. Introduced to America by the French nouvelle cuisine in the 70's for most everything; from chicken to salad to seafood. These berries add a touch of color and a rich, sweet flavor to most dishes.

Royale: Superb Black and White from the Far East, Green from Brazil and Rose from France, blended to represent the aristocracy of taste. A zesty mix for marinades, sauces and for their exquisite touch of color and taste on vegetables.
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