Organic Black Peppercorn, Whole - 200 grams.
Our Organic Black Whole Peppercorn is fresh and flavourful. Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is used as both a spice and a medicine. The chemical piperine, which is present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. It is native to Kerala, the southern state of India. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely traded spices in the world. It is not considered a seasonal plant and is, therefore, available throughout the year. When dried, this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn and is then ground into a powder to be put on food to add flavour and spice.
Pepper is a condiment that has been salt’s partner on Western tables for hundreds of years. It adds a flavour of its own to dishes, as well as enhancing the taste of other ingredients. A spice indigenous to southern India, it stimulates the appetite and gives food a gentle warmth. Black pepper comes from a climbing vine, the fruits of which – small round berries – ripen from green to red and finally to brown. Black peppercorns are actually berries that are picked when they’re just turning red. They are then dried whole before being sold. Once dried, the berries become black peppercorns with a pungent fiery flavour. The same plant produces peppercorns that are green, white, black, or red, depending at which stage of ripening, the berries are harvested. Pink peppercorns, however, come from an unrelated plant and are not true pepper.
Peppercorns can be used whole, crushed or ground to add heat and flavour to cooking. Use them whole in stews and soups or as part of a bouquet garni. You will often find whole peppercorns spicing up salamis or sausages. Freshly ground peppercorns have much more flavour than ready-ground pepper, so buy fresh whole peppercorns and invest in a pepper grinder. Try grinding fresh black pepper over a bowl of strawberries and see how it enhances the flavour of the fruit, releasing a very subtle pepper flavour. Lightly crushed or cracked peppercorns can be used to spice up creamy sauces or to coat fillet steaks or chicken breasts. The light crushing releases the fragrant spiciness; using ground pepper in this way would just release too much heat. Black pepper’s flavour diminishes during cooking, so it’s best to season dishes towards the end of cooking or at the table.
Due to their size and the maturity of their berries at harvest, the Malabar and Tellicherry pepper varieties have a very fresh, robust flavor and are considered the highest quality black peppercorns.
“How long do spices last?”
Depends on both the type of spice and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored spices do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried spices (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. Pre-ground spices do still always work very well but it is best for quality of flavour to buy peppercorns whole and grind them at time of use. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your spices:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat, sunlight and moisture.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.