Black pepper is an essential spice used in cooking and has been around since ancient times. It is also known as piper nigrum. Black pepper is commonly found in Indian cuisine and is used to add flavor to dishes.
Black pepper is a powerful antioxidant and contains high amounts of vitamin C and manganese. It is also rich in fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
Except for salt, which is more of a condiment, pepper is probably the most widely used spice on the globe. Pepper is found in everything, including some sweet foods and drinks! But why is pepper strewn over the place? Why is pepper so popular, and why not another spice? Pepper, it turns out, has a long history and a lot of narratives. There’s a reason why salt and pepper belong together, and we’ll talk about it today.
Pepper was first cultivated by the Romans who called it peperoncino or "little apple." The word pepper comes from the Latin word sequences meaning “peppery”. In fact, this plant was originally native to India but spread all across Europe during Roman times.
The earliest record of pepper being grown commercially dates back to 1565 when Spanish explorers brought seeds with them back home after discovering new lands. Furthermore, they discovered that peppers were easy to grow and could be easily transported. This discovery led to the development of many different varieties of black pepper plants.
The Dutch started growing their own crops of pepper in 1611. They named these plants Pimpinella Anisum. These are still some of the main types of pepper you find at your local grocery store.
Black pepper is so widespread, as the ancient spice, primarily due to the Roman invasion and trade, has been commonly utilized. About India pepper had been extensively recognized and utilized in 2000 BC. When the Roman Empire reached Asia and hence India, they found the spice, loved it, and returned to the Empire.
Black pepper was so precious that it has been in fact used as payment for a while. Since Europe lacks any spices, pepper has become a luxury that may refine a meal that is largely boring. Herbs and salt were at the time the most food could be done. Spices came only later, and they were exceedingly costly. SO with the passing of time and trade channels, pepper was increasingly easy to get hold of. It was just the go-to spice, even if only for a tiny quantity of any meal.
In addition to its use as a seasoning, pepper has been used medicinally throughout history. For example, in Ancient Egypt, people would chew on dried pepper leaves to relieve toothaches.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that pepper became a staple ingredient in European kitchens. At this point, pepper began to replace other herbs like sage and rosemary. However, it took centuries before pepper really caught on. During the 17th century, Europeans began using pepper liberally. By the 19th century, pepper was one of the most important ingredients in cooking.
Today, pepper remains an essential part of our culinary culture. We can thank the Romans for bringing us pepper, and now we’re stuck with it.
Today it may sound stupid, but remember pepper was a luxury. And with its most precious goods, the Pharaohs traveled to the afterlife, frequently with luxury stuff. A collection of Roman cookbooks, including Black pepper in several of its recettes, had been made in different proportions in the first century A.D.
Black pepper was registered in usage in China in the third century AD. The usage of Sichuan pepper competed fast. And no, it isn’t like black pepper in Sichuan. But it turns out that there is another plant, too, we were very perplexed.
Salt and pepper have long been considered two of the best flavor enhancers around. In fact, they’ve been said to work together better than either alone. Salt brings out the flavors of foods by drawing moisture from inside the mouth. Meanwhile, pepper adds heat and aroma. Together, they create a perfect balance between savory and sweet tastes.
But why do we pair them up? Well, it all comes down to chemistry. Both salts and peppercorns contain sodium chloride. This chemical compound helps bring out the natural taste of meat or fish.
But when you add both salt and pepper to your dish, their effects combine. They help each other along, creating a more intense flavor experience. The combination also works well because of how much salt and pepper we eat. If you take a look at the average American diet, you’ll see that Americans consume about 3 grams of salt per day. That means that every person eats roughly 1 teaspoon of salt daily.
It became the spice go-to throughout Europe and a must-have along the path. In addition to the salt that was both flavored and kept – people definitely need sodium in modest quantities – it became something like pepper and salt.
Yes, salts were needed, and very early communities, like the Yuncheng Salt, See in China’s Shangxi region, were constructed around salt flats, salt springs, or lakes that had dried up and turned into salt. Long before pepper was discovered, salt was found to be important. But that became the standard once, boy, when you tried to buy pepper, and heavy taxes and excessive prices were at your table.
The majority of black pepper today comes from India. It has become so popular that many countries use Indian pepper as a benchmark for quality. For example, if a country wants to export spices, it will often test samples against those produced in India.
India produces over 80% of the world’s supply of black peppercorn. Most of these peppers grow in the state of Kerala. There are three main types: Malabar, Tellicherry, and Coorg. These names refer to where the plants originated. Malabar pepper grows on trees. Tellicherry pepper grows on shrubs. And Coorg pepper grows on bushes. All three varieties produce small fruits that turn red when ripe. When harvested, the fruit is removed from the stem and then sun-dried until ready to ship.
Black pepper was originally from South and South East Asia, but in contemporary Kerala, India, the largest planting. Not only did black pepper grow in that place, it wasn’t, but for some reason, it was mostly where it grew.
Brazil, Indonesia, India, and China are the largest producers of black peppers in Viet Nam nowadays. Indeed, the major spice producers are South and Southeast Asia. The spicy areas are all native to these sections and are extremely well grown: ginger, cumin, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, turmeric, etc.
Peppers are an essential part of any kitchen. They add flavor to dishes, give you energy, and even protect against cancer. However, there are different types of peppers out there, and each has its own unique benefits.
This type of pepper contains high amounts of antioxidants, which can fight off free radicals. This helps prevent heart disease and certain cancers. You may have heard that eating too much sugar causes weight gain. Well, this isn’t true! Sugar actually increases insulin levels, which leads to fat storage.
Green peppers contain more vitamin C than other kinds of peppers. Vitamin C is great because it fights infections and boosts immunity. Green peppers also help with digestion and reduce inflammation.
Green peppercorns are only a typical dehydrated pepper that doesn’t turn black and hence has a different flavor. It is fresher and more flowery than black pepper and less complicated.
White pepper is made by removing the seeds and white pithy material inside the pepper. White pepper doesn’t taste nearly as good as regular green pepper. That said, white pepper still tastes pretty good. If you want to make sure you get the best tasting pepper possible, try using fresh ones instead of canned ones.
These peppers come in two colors – pink or red. Pink peppers don’t look like they do at first glance. In fact, their color changes depending on how long they sit around before being cooked. Red peppers stay bright red throughout cooking.
Red peppers are sweeter than yellow peppers. Yellow peppers tend to be milder than red peppers. Both are delicious though.
The Sichuan pepper comes from the province of Sichuan in southwestern China. Its name means “pepper mountain.” It looks similar to a jalapeño pepper, but it is hotter.
It is used in Chinese cuisine and is often added to soups and stir-fries. Some people say that if you eat enough chili peppers, your body will start producing them naturally.
Long pepper is not really a pepper; rather, it is a fruit. Long peppers are usually dried and then ground into powder form. These spices are commonly found in Indian food.
They are very hot and are sometimes called bird chiles. There are many varieties of long peppers, including Thai long pepper, Japanese shishito pepper, Korean ssamjang pepper, Mexican serrano pepper, Hungarian paprika pepper, Italian pepperoncini pepper, and so forth.
In conclusion, we hope that our article about why is black pepper so common helped clear up some confusion for you. We know that black pepper is one of those things that everyone loves, but no one knows exactly what makes it so special.
Hopefully, now you understand why black pepper is such a popular ingredient and all your food curiosities have been resolved.