Forget black pepper - try white peppercorns

Most of us probably have salt and pepper on our dining table

Or at the very least somewhere in our kitchen. It’s everywhere. In tiny packets with your takeout meals, and on restaurant tables, too. It’s so common you probably don’t even think twice about adding a shake of salt and pepper at mealtime to up the spiciness scale. But have you considered trading out your black pepper shaker for white peppercorns? White pepper isn’t quite as commonplace as black pepper, but it has its own unique flavor.

Surprisingly, both peppers come from the very same berries

But you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. You get black pepper from unripe berries. They’re dried until their skins turn black, which helps give them that unmistakable black pepper taste and aroma. White peppercorns are fully ripened berries. They’ve been soaked in water long enough to ferment. The outer skin of the berry is removed before its dried. That’s why one looks black and the other one looks white. Surprisingly, they also taste different. Because the white peppercorns have their outer skin removed and they’re dried in a different way, white and black peppercorns end up slightly different.

White peppercorns tend to be milder, earthier and less pungent.

You’ll often find white pepper used in Asian, Mexican and Indian dishes. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use white pepper for other foods, it’s up to you. The dish will likely taste a little different, but that’s what some people like about white peppercorns. Oftentimes, people use white pepper when they make something light in color so they’re able to maintain the overall hue without adding in black specks. There are health benefits, too. White pepper contains essential minerals like iron, dietary fiber and manganese. It’s also said to help with bone health and digestion.

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