I still can’t believe that a stone fruit (yes pepper is a stone fruit, who knew) that built empires a few hundred years ago can now be bought for next to nothing at the local supermarket!
The world’s most used spice is also my favourite, its sharp taste is different to that of chili but both are used add a spicy “hot” flavour to food. I always grind my peppercorns as I go to maintain maximum flavour and pungency.
It is often paired with salt during cooking and both are commonly supplied on every table to allow guests to add more.
I use three types of peppercorns but in this post I want to talk about green peppercorns.
I haven’t cooked with green peppercorns other than garnishing steak with the pickled version but they feature in my favourite type of Pâté (chicken liver with green peppercorns). They are tender and easily pop in your mouth. The taste begins with a deceptively mild grassy taste and then there is a sharp fiery bite that lingers and make you blink a lot :).
Green peppercorns differ from black and white peppercorns in that they are harvested while still unripe and with their skins on. They are then generally pickled or dried. Left fresh they don’t travel well so I have not seen them fresh in Australia.
So why cook with pepper? I am not going to pretend to know why or how but pepper reacts with the flavours in the food itself and also effects our ability to perceive said flavours. Pepper is also given credit for a raft of health benefits from being a digestive to increasing your metabolism and adding to your daily fiber needs.
Pepper vine with drupes still attached:
- see all recipes using green peppercorns here
- see all recipes using pepper here
- see all ingredients here