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[P]
A Brief Primer on Black Pepper

By Hide Teh Hamster in Culture
Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:43:45 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

Black pepper is a spice that nearly everybody in the world takes for granted. It has been a culinary staple in the eastern tropics for eons, and indeed for the last several centuries the entire civilised world. The most wealthy of Romans were known to have seasoned their exotic cuisine with liberal amounts of pepper. Black pepper can be found in almost any savory dish as has become custom of fine cookery during the Renaissance, particularly in the arts of French and Italian cooking. But what do you really know about our dear friend, the spice affectionately known as black pepper?


Well, Jack, what is black pepper then?!

Hoo hoo hoo, I'm glad you've asked. Black pepper is a member of the pepper family Piperaceae, and actually starts out as a little red berry! These red berries are harvested en masse and collected into batches. The batches of harvested red berries are put into boiling water for ten minutes! Believe it or not, the little berries turn a black colour and begin to resemble the common black peppercorn that we all adore. The peppercorns are dried and collected for sale on the world's Free Market. Your average peppercorn is 0.5 centimeters in diameter.

But Jack, why should I care about black pepper?

Don't be ignorant! According to statistics, black pepper is the most widely-produced and most common spice in the world! To not care is to be foolish and ignore completely the wonders of a world which largely depends on the prosperous principle of a globalized Free Market!

But Jack, I'm confused! You said that these "peppercorn" things are approximately 0.5 cm in diameter, why does it not resemble the small particles in my table's pepper shaker? Do they use a shrinking ray on the peppercorns like the popular Disney movie Honey, I Shrunk The Kids in order to convert it into the product I know?

Actually, your pepper shaker likely does not have the whole peppercorns themselves, but rather the peppercorns are ground up into a coarse powder using a machine known as a pepper mill. Pepper mills come in a variety of sizes and grind to a variety of coarseness. If you wish to obtain more information about pepper mills, visit your local culinary supplies shop.

Is there but one type of peppercorn, or is there a large variety of them, Jack? The theory of evolution pioneered by Charles Darwin in the 1800s tells me that there are likely several varieties of peppercorns!

That's a very astute observation! Yes, there is a wide variety of peppercorns available on the Free Market! Pepper is cultivated all over the earth. Hot spots (pun very much intended!) of pepper production include Brazil, Indonesia, India, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, and even China!

Hold on a second, Jack. I've heard of white pepper before. Are you trying to pull the wool over my eyes by only acknowledging the existence of black pepper?

You are of course correct. There are varieties of white pepper. The common misconception about white pepper is that it is actually a more finely-ground, husked version of the common black peppercorn. However, when peppercorns of a certain Brazilian variety are dried, they will begin to take on a distinct dark green colour. This pepper has DNA which is virtually identical to that of most black pepper, but doesn't differ at all in flavour! Also of note is the prized red Sri Lankan peppercorn, which also takes on a flavour which is essentially the same as common black pepper.

You say there are red peppercorns. Is this the same as cayenne pepper, Jack?

This is another intelligent question. The answer is no, these are not the same thing. Cayenne pepper as you might purchase it from the local grocery, is the ground product of dried cayenne chile peppers, which are not the same as peppercorns! Luckily cayenne does not take on a spice or flavour similar to black pepper and there will be no mistaking one from another. While cayenne will "burn" your tongue, black pepper will produce a "bite" sensation similar to that of horseradish.

Okay, all this information is marvelous Jack. What can I do with it?

Well, cook something! A simple dish which captures the full essence of black pepper is seared tuna steak encrusted with cracked pepper and can be prepared in less than five minutes. Obtain extra virgin olive oil, 4 tablespoons of coarsely ground black pepper, and 20 ounces (approximately 0.5 kg) of fresh tuna steak. It may be desired to shape the tuna into a rectangular block, but it is not required. Do not cut the tuna into small "fish sticks". This will ruin the rare searing effect! Coat the entire tuna steak in the cracked pepper. Put roughly two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-high frying pan, and sear the major edges of the tuna steak. There should be a nice thin brown border around the red tuna steak. Once it has been sufficiently seared, use tongs to sear the minor edges of the steak. Slice the tuna as seen fit and eat!

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Poll
How often per week do you find yourself sprinkling black pepper on food?
o 1-3 35%
o 4-7 23%
o 8-11 10%
o 12-15 8%
o 15-18 1%
o 19-21 4%
o I am USian and hence eat more than 21 meals a week, you insensitive clod! 16%

Votes: 117
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by Hide Teh Hamster


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A Brief Primer on Black Pepper | 117 comments (68 topical, 49 editorial, 0 hidden)
White pepper (2.92 / 28) (#8)
by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 09:00:28 PM EST

Is a tool of the man to keep the black pepper down.

BE STRONG, MY BROTHERS.


___
localroger is a tool.
In memory of the You Sad Bastard thread. A part of our heritage.
I Would Have Added... (2.91 / 12) (#15)
by thelizman on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:17:53 PM EST

...that Durkee sells bottles of peppercorns with a cheapie disposable grinder atop. Freshly ground pepper is far and away superior to boxed/bagged pepper. It is more aromatic, and has a sharper taste. And don't forget its table-top companion, Salt, which comes in table salt (NaCl), Sea Salt (a variety of halides) has a slightly pickled taste, pickling salts (standard salt plus flavorings), sodium free won't-kill-your-blood-pressure salt (KCl), and everyones favorite, epson salts (which aren't a seasoning, but works wonders on poison ivy).
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Masterfoods, McCormick... (none / 2) (#22)
by Zerotime on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:22:09 AM EST

...and pretty much every other spice company also has disposable grinders for both pepper and salt. I've even got one here by an "Indigo Grind" company that's got both in the one grinder.

---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Pickling salt, blood pressure, etc.... (none / 2) (#32)
by Gooba42 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 04:24:15 AM EST

Pickling salt shouldn't have spices in it. It's milled fine to dissolve easily in cold water, almost like little tiny snowflakes if I recall correctly. You add the spices yourself.

And studies of sodium intake have indicated that (off the top of my head) 75% of people are not sensitive to sodium in regards to blood pressure. If you're one of the other 25% you've got to watch yourself but otherwise the average person couldn't bear eating the amount of salt which would put them in jeopardy.

As long as you drink plenty of water and don't force yourself to eat more salt than you are comfortable with then you're probably fine.

[ Parent ]

33% not 25% (none / 0) (#82)
by Rhodes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:14:19 PM EST

I had read that 33%, not 25% were sodium sensitive. Since it's pretty easy to reduce the amount of sodium and see a lower blood pressure, it's usually the first prescription.

[ Parent ]
Still a minority case... (none / 0) (#101)
by Gooba42 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:40:26 PM EST

Okay, but still a minority of people are actually salt sensitive. Unless you know otherwise it's not necessarily a concern for any specific person.

[ Parent ]
Minority (none / 0) (#102)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:50:29 PM EST

It's about the same number of people in the US as who can't metabolize alcohol properly, or digest lactose. Both of those numbers are much larger worldwide.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
sqlplus /nolog (none / 3) (#34)
by Amsterdam Vallon on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:22:54 AM EST

update comments set rating=3 where username='thelizman';
___________________________________________
Read my recent comments and reply to/rate them as you see fit.
ה‮
[ Parent ]
Don't forget lithium salts! (none / 0) (#57)
by Patrick Bateman on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:09:38 PM EST

Some of us use it to avoid unfortunate behavior.

:-(

---
I have to return some videotapes.
[ Parent ]

And gold salts (none / 0) (#75)
by rpresser on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:18:51 PM EST

are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis...
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
food for thought (none / 0) (#74)
by Gumpzilla on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:09:42 PM EST

On Theodore Gray's Periodic Table Table page, I remember seeing an interesting comment that he makes. He spent some time playing around with a Geiger counter, and found that tritium keychains, which were banned in the United States, produced significantly fewer counts than the potassium chloride sodium substitute that he had on his table. Now, admittedly the banning of the keychains was probably stupid, and it's hard to say how important this is. But . . . ugh.

[ Parent ]
It's probably because... (none / 0) (#97)
by gordonjcp on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:40:52 AM EST

... terrrists might use them to make heavy water in their basement laboratories.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Write in: 0 (2.22 / 9) (#19)
by bobpence on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:55:30 PM EST

I went through a phase about seven years ago when I added pepper while I was scrambling eggs, as opposed to once they were on my plate. But beyond that I have never been even a mildly frequent user of pepper or even salt. I do use the latter on hard boiled eggs, that's about it for me and post-preparation spices*. Also, hot dogs? Little tiny bit of mustard, maybe. My tastes are nearly bland enough to like English food, just like my patience is nearly great enough to endure English waitpersons. (Two experiences from Garfinkle's: Near Pickadilly, my waitress took my order after a good long wait and then... sat down to her own leisurely meal on the other side of the restaurant, without putting my order in or handing me off to anyone. At Heathrow, I swear my waitress was trying to get me to say "I have a plane to catch" by her repeated slow responses to various simple requests.)

Is peppercorn related to Jalapenos, other hot peppers, and bell peppers, all of which have much smaller seeds or berries?

* Really, I bought a classy pair of tiny, two-inch tall by one-inch diameter diner-style salt and pepper shakers about eight years ago. The pepper is two-thirds full and has never been refilled. The salt is just under one-third full and has been refilled either once or never.


"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

nope (none / 2) (#52)
by horny smurf on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:00:40 PM EST

Is peppercorn related to Jalapenos, other hot peppers, and bell peppers, all of which have much smaller seeds or berries?

No. I think it's because Europeans exploring the US liked to reuse all names of things back in Europe.

[ Parent ]

IHMLBT, but... (none / 0) (#94)
by Zerotime on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 01:11:40 AM EST

It's probably more to with early American nationalism and wanting to do everything the opposite way to everyone in Europe. Like driving on the wrong side of the road, or calling everything "peppers".

---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Eat at pubs! (none / 0) (#116)
by epepke on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 02:27:12 PM EST

Counter service, lots of food for the pound, and beer, too. Or get a nice doner kebab (probably too spicy). Or fish and chips.

English restaurants are sort of like, I don't know, Italian fireworks or Budweiser beer or Iowa-style bagels. Or English hamburgers, for that matter. I suppose they sort of resemble the real thing if you squint, but what's the point?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
As an autocondimentor, I am obligated to +1 this. (1.81 / 11) (#23)
by Zerotime on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:26:21 AM EST



---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

You put pepper on yourself? Ew. [nt] (none / 2) (#76)
by rpresser on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:19:54 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
It drives the ladies wild. (nt) (none / 2) (#93)
by Zerotime on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 01:05:55 AM EST



---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Always sprinkle pepper in your hair (3.00 / 2) (#99)
by ethereal on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:48:13 AM EST

Thank you, Shel Silverstein.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

+1FP, great article (2.00 / 8) (#25)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:33:39 AM EST

I'm wondering what it's like to work in an industrial pepper milling plant. You know the big-name pepper sellers must have them. I wonder if they have to wear breathing masks to stand the pepper fumes? Probably only one shaker per table in THEIR break room...

Btw, that pepper tuna recipe looks HEAVENLY. Damn you for posting recipes when I'm hungry! Damn you I say!


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Favorite use for Pepper Thread! (3.00 / 5) (#26)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:36:52 AM EST

Reply below with the dish that you are most likely to add pepper to at the table. (Dishes where pepper is added during cooking don't count, I'm talking about dishes where you think more pepper is needed for your personal taste)

I'll start: Cottage Cheese. (with salt, too! yum!)


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Raw tomatoes [n/t] (3.00 / 5) (#27)
by epepke on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:37:47 AM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
French Fries (none / 3) (#29)
by godix on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:53:28 AM EST

It's about the only way to make bland ass semi-fried potatoes worth eating. Even then I usually eat only half the fries in my 'value' meal.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
Beans! (none / 3) (#37)
by codejack on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:59:18 AM EST

Especially green beans with heinz 57 sauce.

Other favorite meals to flavor with pepper include: taco salad, vermicelli bolognese, linguine primavera, and any article written by Hide Teh Hamster.

Oh, and -1.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Or navy beans! (none / 0) (#58)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:53:32 PM EST

Navy beans with pepper, and cornbread and fried potatoes on the side... drool...


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Radiator repair! (none / 2) (#38)
by Arvedui on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:34:53 AM EST

A friend had an old beater of a jeep and the radiator had a bunch of micro-holes that kept letting the water leak out. To repair it, he poured in some really coarse pepper and then ran the engine at high RPM up and down the road (country, deserted) to get the coolant circulating at high speed, which served to jam the pepper into the holes and seal them. Seemed to work pretty well! Otherwise, I mainly use it with tofu hashbrowns, or sometimes in a stirfry.

[ Parent ]
Oatmeal is better (none / 1) (#43)
by wiredog on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:32:00 AM EST

The starch plugs up the holes.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
fish tacos!~ (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by rmg on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 06:03:43 PM EST



your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

my uses (none / 3) (#51)
by horny smurf on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:56:48 PM EST

I generally use some pepper while cooking then top it off at the table (since I don't want to ruin my entire meal, and cooking kills flavor).

  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Steak
  • Mashed Potatoes

Salt, Pepper, and Garlic would be my top 3 spices, if not for the fact that salt isn't a spice. Garlic and pepper are definitely my top 2.

[ Parent ]

Top uses for pepper (none / 0) (#73)
by jonarcher on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:50:16 AM EST

- scrambled eggs - bruschetta ("toast" ciabatta bread slices on a griddle till it's got nice black lines on it, rub with a garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil, dump a spoonful of chopped tomatoes from a can [whizzzed in blender is good to make them smaller] and _then_ black pepper on top) - cold new season potatos, in a bowl with some mayo & salt'n'pepper for v simple but tasty potato salad, add chives for extra flavour - any kind of pasta in a white creamy/cheesey/garlicky sauce is good with black pepper ground over it - strawberries (really!) just cut in half and grind a few flecks of pepper over

[ Parent ]
Strawberries (none / 2) (#77)
by MiddleAgedGuy on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:21:50 PM EST

No, I really am serious. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over some strawberries that you've just cut into either halves or quarters, depending on their size. MMmmmmmH!

[ Parent ]
Churches! (none / 1) (#78)
by driph on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:49:22 PM EST

Okay actually mashed potatos.

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Eggy Wegs.... (none / 1) (#89)
by claes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:53:59 PM EST

I'd love to smash-em!

[ Parent ]
cheap cafeteria pizza (none / 0) (#100)
by ethereal on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:50:18 AM EST

Pepper is pretty much the only way to make it edible, as far as I can tell.

Also: mashed potatoes and other vegetables. I pretty much try to use pepper instead of salt in almost all cases, and it mostly works.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Missing info (2.88 / 9) (#28)
by epepke on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:40:21 AM EST

Black pepper makes an excellent coagulant for minor lacerations, such as shaving nicks.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


YAY YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD! (2.00 / 5) (#48)
by theboz on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 06:49:08 PM EST

Can we get an article about napkins next?

Stuff.

This (none / 0) (#81)
by kitten on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 04:12:04 PM EST

From the guy who posted a plagarized story about making pecan pancakes.

That's rich.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
No, no (none / 1) (#85)
by kjb on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:44:16 PM EST

next should be a primer on Salt.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

BAH (none / 0) (#64)
by WorkingEmail on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:28:18 AM EST

Who is this Jack person you're plagiarizing? I've done a few google searches on partial phrases and I can't find a match! What gives?


Believe it or not (none / 1) (#66)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:14:45 AM EST

This is actually not plagiarised for once. I learned my lesson that fateful day two April Fool's Days ago by losing submission privs. ^_^


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Pepper in History... (none / 3) (#72)
by claes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:35:16 AM EST

Pepper is pretty important in history, since it was one of the driving forces in the exploration of the far east by us greedy european types [1].

One of my favorite stories about pepper is in Robert Graves "Count Belisarius". He is sent to school with a tiny box of pepper for funds, it was incredibly valuable at the time. He gets way-layed by bad guys, and throws it in their faces to escape, I guess showing his decisive military mind. Or something like that, I read the book ages ago.

-- claes

[1] Much as I think space exploration is interesting, likening it to the early maritime explorations is not really fair -- a single successfull voyage to the far east could make several family fortunes. That sort of return on investment just isn't likely from space exploration, no matter how much we wish it were.

good god (1.00 / 9) (#79)
by ShiftyStoner on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:24:26 PM EST

 I've shit better stories than this.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
Need some history.. (none / 3) (#80)
by moodaepo on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 02:04:22 PM EST

any primer on any spice cannot ignore the history of the spice and the politics which shadow those histories, that said not a shabby write-up : ).

If I recall correctly black pepper was the 'original' black gold. It is one of the spices native to India/South India (and the sub-continent) as someone of that geographical origin I can tell you it is used in most dishes.

An easy one that depends mainly on black pepper is black pepper rice (hah!)
 - Cook 1 cup rice.
 - Fry a few pieces of garlic (sliced thin) till golden brown in 5 spoons of ghee OR half a stick unsalted butter works.
 - Add black pepper (freshly ground of course), salt (not too much) and mix well.
 - If you can find curry leaves, fry them in butter/ghee separately.
 - Mix with rice and eat.

More info on bp and other spices >
 http://www.iisr.org/spices/blackpepper.htm
 http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/

~

Ah, ghee. The poor man's arsenic. (none / 0) (#92)
by Zerotime on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 12:56:56 AM EST



---
"I live by the river
With my mother, in a house
She washes, I cook
And we never go out."

[ Parent ]
Make ghee (none / 0) (#98)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:52:06 AM EST

Take a few sticks of unsalted butter. Heat until the water boils out. Turn up the heat, and heat until it's clear, and there are little beige/brown coagulated solids the size of sand grains at the bottom of the saucepan. Separate the liquid ghee from the solids, but save the solids--they're like little concentrated granules of butter flavor.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
half a stick of butter?!?!?! (none / 0) (#107)
by horny smurf on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:54:23 PM EST

Just thinking about eating half a stick of butter just made my cholesterol jump. With that much butter involved, there should be a lobster or crab legs nearby :)

Try peanut oil or olive oil with a pat of butter thrown in. I would use leftover rice and make a stirfry so the browing power of butter doesn't go to waste.

[ Parent ]

real cooks use mortle and pestle (none / 1) (#83)
by Rhodes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:15:48 PM EST

For all their grinding. Ha to you!

real cooks (2.25 / 4) (#84)
by kjb on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:42:40 PM EST

 know how to spell 'mortar' and pestle.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Who the fuck is Jaclk? (none / 0) (#86)
by Yaroslav The Wise on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:47:19 PM EST

<EOM>

Re: Who the fuck is Jaclk? (none / 0) (#106)
by femto on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:48:26 PM EST

Alice's brother?

[ Parent ]
Attention K5ian Infidels!! (1.75 / 4) (#87)
by toulouse on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:37:00 PM EST

This is why we should ditch the humour section.

This is also why all ye who dronefully post "-1 resection to Humour" in reponse to other articles are brain-dead numbskull fuckwit weenus's. If you put a label on it marked "This is teh funny. Lolz." it immediately takes a torpedo below the waterline - you suck it's karmic hipness dry.

This is also the funniest shit I've read on here in years. Excellent, masterful work with the facetious tone, sir. I commend you, Jack.

 

Why can I see the space needle? ...


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


wow, such insight! (none / 2) (#88)
by brettd on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:58:53 PM EST

Actually, your pepper shaker likely does not have the whole peppercorns themselves, but rather the peppercorns are ground up into a coarse powder using a machine known as a pepper mill.

Gooollleeee Mr. Science! Thanks, I had no idea!

(seriously- the article could have done without the 2nd-grade-level stuff. Reading this kinda made me feel like I was listening to a waiter at a certain overpriced national chinese restaurant chain who explained to an entire table that "soy sauce is what chinese people use for salt!")

Ground pepper (none / 1) (#96)
by kesuari on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:27:32 AM EST

A related Question:

Umm... I'm a little confused, Jack. I realise it's possible to buy pre-ground pepper, but most people I know buy little black circles of it, put it into their pepper grinders, and grind it over their food. Are you telling me there's a large amount of people out there that haven't even heard of 'freshly ground pepper'?

[ Parent ]

For those who are wondering... (none / 2) (#91)
by proles on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 12:48:04 AM EST

...black pepper works remarkably well on couscous. I discovered that just now, as I cooked up some couscous but had nothing to flavor it except for black pepper. Really, it's quite tasty.
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
Pepper with Pasta (none / 1) (#110)
by mpmansell on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 05:22:36 AM EST

Another quick and easy meal is pasta, flavoured with black pepper and Olive oil. Maybe some cheese

[ Parent ]
That's it? (none / 3) (#95)
by ixian on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:42:51 AM EST

Q: Say, isn't it cool to ask a question, and then be the one to answer it?

A: Hell yeah!!!

Of course, I like talking to myself sometimes as well.  It's nice to talk to an intelligent person from time to time...

Anyway, how can you have a discussion about pepper, and not explain why it was so important?  Hint: it wasn't because it tasted good -- it was because we did not have refgirigators back then.

Apparently black pepper is dangerous (none / 1) (#103)
by niom on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:49:48 PM EST

Pray tell me, Jack, can the regular use of black pepper lead to schizophrenia?

I haven't noticed.

I am Jack's complete lack of caring. (none / 3) (#104)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:43:47 PM EST

Utter crap.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
You're also Jack's utter sense of helplessness. (none / 0) (#105)
by Hide Teh Hamster on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:59:57 PM EST

At least it wasn't a fragmented diary about fag rags and worker's fraud.


This revitalised kuro5hin thing, it reminds me very much of the new German Weimar Republic. Please don't let the dark cloud of National Socialism descend upon it again.
[ Parent ]
Pepper away little one (none / 2) (#108)
by dejarad on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:26:24 PM EST

Pepper is tasty. Whoopie! Please stop wasting my time. You condecending annoyng fool. There is some exciting history you might want to add when discussing boring stuff like pepper. Your article is Barney/AOL material. Please post there. Then, your writing style is bringing me down to your level. For fuks sake I am getting into a name calling game with someone on kuro5hin. Where have the standarts and high expectetions gone? I have been away for a year and this is front page? Are you kidding me? Where are the brains? Someone please point me somewhere else. I need to have a virtual sanctuary that stimulates my grey cells.

Although not technically a peppercorn... (none / 0) (#109)
by Wain on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:38:39 PM EST

Pink peppercorns are my favorite.

green, white, red ,black (none / 3) (#111)
by drquick on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:31:00 AM EST

Weren't you a little wrong in your article? The various colours of pepper is just a result of harvesting it at a different time of the growing season. The same fruit from this tropical climbing wine allows us to obtain several types of pepper:
  • Green pepper
    Harvested before maturity while the fruit is still green and preserved in brine.
  • Black pepper
    Also harvested before maturity, but a little later, and immediately dried.
  • White pepper
    Extracted from the ripe seed after soaking to remove the outer layer.
  • Red pepper
    The mature fresh berries, impossible to find in Europe or North America. - Not to be confused with pink peppercorns from Reunion Island, which are not from the piperacea family. So some red or pink peppercorns are not a true pepper but come from a South American tree, schinus terebinyhifolius.
Black pepper is possibly the oldest know spice to man. It has long been known as a stimulant to appetite and a relief of nausea. Pepper is mentioned as far back as 1000 BC in ancient Sanskrit literature. Piper nigrum has it's name from its Sanskrit: Pilpali. It was known in ancient Egypt. The Romans spread this spice throughout their empire where it was highly valued. It's a tropical woody branching wine, that can reach 10m, originating in the forests of the Malabar Coast of India.

Exuberant style mildly amusing, article sucks ass (none / 1) (#112)
by PunkAssBitch on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:47:37 AM EST

Did somebody hack K5 and simulate the voting up of this uninformative rubbish? Was this an experiment to see how bad a bad article could be and still get voted up? Did some statistical fluke result in 200 2nd graders getting K5 accounts and voting on this juvenille hogwash?

Well, I did sort of like the madly enthusiastic persona. But the content (and corresponding lack thereof) stunk. Perhaps your next try on, say, salt will be better ...

Fun Fact #714 (none / 0) (#115)
by k24anson on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:48:45 AM EST

Kings of past would set a thousand ships to sail for stuff like this.

Maybe you should stick to television shows, and cut down on the caffeinated beverages after, let's say 10 o'clock in the morning.
KLH
NYC

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.
[ Parent ]

Story performs useful census function (none / 1) (#113)
by GenerationY on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:29:46 AM EST

There are 130* trolls and 104 pseudo-trolls/trollophiles.
There are a further 141 miserable gits and 66 wimps who are too scared to state an opinion either way.

*2 poor sods probably thought this insightful and informative, bless 'em

And that was how to insult 446 people, most of whom will take it personally if past experience is anything to go by, in two lines and a footnote. The suggestion that they should be offended, but actually aren't, will offend all those initially proud as being identified under a given heading. Anyway my work here is done, good day to you all. God, am I bored at work right now...

Pepper rocks (none / 0) (#114)
by Cackmobile on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 07:01:38 AM EST

the coarser the grind the better. I love my big peppermill. I hear that when some group (vandals, goths or some such) they demanded a ransom of 1 tonne of pepper.

What lives in my pepper grinder? (none / 1) (#117)
by naught on Mon Jun 28, 2004 at 10:36:07 AM EST

2 parts black peppercorns
1 part each:
green, white, and pink peppercorns, coreander, and allspice.

very round flavor.  enjoy.
 

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.

A Brief Primer on Black Pepper | 117 comments (68 topical, 49 editorial, 0 hidden)
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