In today’s modern kitchens, pepper is one of the most popular and widely consumed spices in the world. But what exactly is pepper?
The pepper spice is derived from the piper nigrum plant. This vining plant produces small berries that are harvested to make both white pepper and black pepper. Each one of these pepper types has their own distinct appearance, flavor, and uses in cooking.
Here are the key differences between black pepper and white pepper.
WHAT IS BLACK PEPPER?
Black pepper begins as red pepper berries - the color that indicates ripeness. Once harvested, the pepper berries are left to dry in the sun until they transform into slightly shriveled, dark brown or black peppercorns.
THE FLAVOR OF BLACK PEPPER
Black pepper has a hot, spicy flavor that’s fairly pungent. Further flavor notes will be determined by the region that the pepper hails from. Black pepper harvested from Sarawak, Malaysia, for example, is a mildly spicy pepper that carries an incredibly authentic pepper flavor.
HOW TO COOK WITH BLACK PEPPER?
Black pepper adds a rich flavor to any dish, especially dishes that feature chicken or beef. For meat rubs or marinades, opt for a coarse black pepper, while whole peppercorns can be used in soups or stocks.
WHAT IS WHITE PEPPER?
White pepper actually starts out exactly as black pepper. White pepper is harvested when ripe, but rather than drying in the sun like black pepper, white pepper is left under running water. This process allows the skin of the berries to dissolve and creates a white, slightly brown color.
THE FLAVOR OF WHITE PEPPER
Compared to black pepper, the flavor of white pepper is incredibly mild. White pepper’s flavor is complex and earthy, usually with slightly floral notes.
HOW TO COOK WITH WHITE PEPPER?
Due to its mild flavor, white pepper incorporates well into almost any dish. However, white pepper’s flavor is often highlighted in European and Asian cooking specifically Swedish, French, Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
Explore the differences between white and black pepper for yourself with Natharvest Sarawak Black Peppers and Sarawak White Peppers.