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Pass the pepper please! The peppercorn plant is native to tropical evergreen rain forest of South Indian state, Kerala, from where it spread to rest of the world. Peppercorns grow on a tall vine and are available in a number of different colours and flavours depending on their ripeness when picked and processed. Black Pepper is actually harvested green before ripening, then dried where the skin darkens in colour. Black pepper has a full-bodied, woody flavour with a spicy heat. It adds a wonderful warm and well-rounded note when freshly ground onto food.

Many dishes would seem incomplete without the addition of pepper either during cooking or at the table, and the variety used often comes down to personal preference. Peppercorns can be used whole (but are best removed before serving as they are not pleasant to bite into,) crushed, or as a powder.

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