A pinch of black pepper is added to almost any recipe. Once used as a currency of exchange and provision of the gods as a sacred gift, we are all lucky that this most famous spice is available round the shops.
Black pepper comes from the smooth climbing plant that grows in hot and humid climates. After 3-4 years it begins to bear small white flowers and clusters them into pearls, known as grains of pepper.
Black pepper comes from the fruit of a plant called Piper nigrum, from which originate green, and white pepper. The difference in color is a reflection of the different stages of the development and methods of processing.
Black pepper is harvested while the kernels are half ripe, just before turning red. Then, they are left to dry, which wrinkles their skin and turns them into black. Green pepper is harvested when the beans are still unripe and green in color, and white - when fully ripe. Its white color is obtained by soaking in brine, where their dark outer shell falls and only white pepper grains remain.
Pink Pepper comes from a completely different plant - Schinus molle-and the similarity in appearance has nothing to do with other types of pepper.
Black pepper is the most pungent and aromatic pepper and can be purchased whole, crushed or powdered.
Originally from India, pepper has played a very important role in our history for thousands of years. Since the time of ancient Greece, it was deeply valuable not only as a spice but also as currency and sacred gift of the gods, and in the Middle Ages people's wealth was measured by their stocks of grains of pepper.
Today, the main commercial producers of pepper are India and Indonesia.
Composition of black pepper
Black pepper contains a certain amount of essential oil, which determines its characteristic flavor. Peppery taste comes due to the alkaloid turpentine. There are also terpenes, fats, carbohydrates, aromatic, dyeing and tanning substances, vitamin C, and other resins.
Selection and storage of pepper
- It is preferable to buy pepper corns, which you can grind yourself, to avoid impurities.
- If you can, choose organically grown pepper, because it will have a more vitamin C.
- Keep pepper in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place.
- Peppercorns can be stored for a long time until ground, they will remain fresh for about three months.
- Black pepper can be frozen, but the taste and smell will be much sharper.
Culinary use of pepper
Along with the salt, black pepper is one of the most versatile herbs. Used in all savory dishes, both ground and in corns. Used to flavor meat, milk, seafood, eggs, vegetables, milk, beans, drinks and even fruit. Best grind it just before using with food.
Add freshly ground pepper in the end of the cooking. Cooked longer, it loses aroma and taste qualities, it is always put at the end of cooking, which will ensure a truly superb meal.
Black pepper is extremely important in the cuisines of China, U.S., UK, Greece, parts of Asia, France and Italy. In terms of opportunities for cooking, it is again very versatile. Suitable for baking, frying, steaming, for cooking and steaming. However, it’s most suitable for baking.
Black pepper is an important ingredient of most curry blends consumed worldwide, but are characteristic of South Asian and Indian cuisine. Except in curry blends, pepper finds its way into other dishes from world cuisine - in marinades for poultry, pumpkin pie sauce and smoked sausage seasoning in the oriental blend of five spices and much more.
Benefits of black pepper
Improves the digestive process and the digestive tract.
Black pepper stimulates the taste centers in such a way that the stomach is getting a signal to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. In addition, this herb increases the secretion of sweat and has diuretic (increases urination) properties.
Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects - another great advantage for your health. This spice not only helps you derive maximum benefit from your food, but the outer layer stimulated fragmentation of fat cells, keeping you slim at the same time as providing you with energy to burn.
The reason it is so precious lies not only in the flavor and spicy taste of pepper, but the fact that you can hide that not so fresh types of food are being served (something very useful before the advent of the freezer).
As seen, the black pepper is a very helpful and pleasant spice, but this can cause some trouble. Its consumption is contraindicated in people suffering from liver problems and urinary tract. Black pepper is especially dangerous for people with ulcers and gastritis, because it can cause irritation of the mucous membranes, which in turn can trigger bleeding.
Weight Loss with pepper
Studies show that if you want to lose weight, you need to consume more pepper. It is very effective in melting the fat due to its bitter piperine compound. Piperine destroys fat cells and prevents the formation of new ones. Some researchers believe that Piperine has a direct impact on some genes, preventing the creation of new fat cells. Thus means in time the excess fat begins to disappear.