Pepper is one of the most important among the spices and is also called as the “King of spices”. Pepper is used as a seasoning, a preservative and even as currencies in older age. Pepper adds an excellent flavor to any savory dish. There are different varieties of pepper and these all come from the same vine. They grow in clusters and are harvested at various stages. There are Black, White and Green peppercorns.
Green peppercorns are unripe version, picked while green and usually pickled in vinegar. They are picked at the same stage of ripeness as black peppercorns, but not allowed to dry. Their flavor and spiciness is less than the black peppercorns. They are least pungent.
Black peppercorns are allowed reach the full size, but are not quite ripe. They are picked and allowed to dry in sun. It turns black during the drying process. It is strongest in flavor.
White peppercorns are the mature berries which ripen to red colour before being picked. After harvesting, they are soaked and rubbed free of the outer skin down to the white layer, then dried and bleached by the sun. These are slightly milder then black pepper.
Red peppercorns are the matured once of the peppercorns, these are difficult to find. They are also known as “Pink Berries”.
We have been to Yercaud – a hill station in Tamilnadu, there I found these peppercorn plants and the peppercorns also have been handpicked by us.
Since its off-season, we rarely found the flowers. These peppercorns have also been used to treat digestive problems as both for appetite stimulant and indigestion, it also used along with milk to cure cough and cold.