Choosing Best Peppercorns for Your Kitchen

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We always try to make our food perfect in taste as well as in flavors. To achieve the perfect taste, we need to choose the right ingredients and spices. When it comes to spices, we all have different options available on our spice shelf in the kitchen. We all have that one secret spice ingredient for every dish that enhances its taste, don’t we? In many cases, peppercorn is treated as that one secret ingredient. This might surprise you but there is a variety of colorful peppercorns apart from regular black peppercorns. These colorful peppercorns are naturally harvested and are safe to use.

  • Black peppercorns

Black peppercorn is the most common variety of spices found in every kitchen for everyday seasoning. It is used almost for everything alongside salt. These round black peppercorns have the strongest and most pungent flavor. It is a warming spice that can also be used as an antioxidant. There are different varieties of black peppercorns in different regions. Some have a slightly sweet taste while some are really strong. Black peppercorns can be grinded and can be used as a seasoning for fruits, citrus salads, etc. Grind it once and store it to use it as your everyday pepper spice.    

  • White peppercorns

White peppercorns are nothing but the black peppercorns with the outer skin removed by soaking them into water. They have a less pungent flavor. They are ideal to be used in white sauce, mashed potatoes, or in any other dish you want to add peppery flavor but don’t want black flecks in it. White pepper enhances appetite and accelerates metabolism. It is used as a seasoning just like black peppercorns for almost all light-colored sauces and foods. Ground white pepper is also used to add peppery flavor to foods like soups or meat marinades. They are usually costlier than black paper but are surely worth a try.

  • Green peppercorns

Green peppercorns are just the unripe peppercorns harvested from the same vine as black peppercorns. As they are unripe, they don’t last for long. So, you should buy them in a smaller quantity than buying in bulk and storing them on your kitchen shelf. To preserve them, they are usually pickled in vinegar. They have a fruitier and fresher, tart flavor. You can easily use green peppercorns instead of black to avoid the heat that black peppercorns contain and still get a really nice aromatic flavor. They go well in creamy sauces and classic French and Thai dishes.

  • Red peppercorns

Red peppercorns are a little less common. They come from the same plant as that of green, white and black peppercorns. When on vine, green peppercorns are left to ripe completely and then they turn red. These red berry fruits are then dried and they turn black to form black peppercorns. They do contain some heat like pepper. Red peppercorns generally have a fruity, floral flavor. They are more like fresh berries which can be used in creamy custard desserts and salads. They are spicy and aromatic and are an ideal spice for flavoring sauces for meat dishes.

  • Szechuan peppercorns

Szechuan peppercorns are often referred to as “Chinese peppercorns”. They aren’t really peppercorns but the reddish-brown husks obtained from dried berries from a small Chinese citrus tree known as ‘Prickly ash’.  It is often referred to as pseudo pepper. It is more aromatic with a pungent flavor but does not add heat like black pepper. One can feel its effect ranging from a tingly to numbing sensation, depending upon the amount of Szechuan pepper added to the dish. This spice is most commonly used in China but you can try its flavor by adding it to sweet potatoes, butter popcorn, cucumber salads, etc.  

  • Long peppercorns

Long peppercorns are an unusual variety of peppercorns that can be easily identified by their unusual shape. They have a strong aroma and their flavor resembles black pepper. Also, they are a little sweeter and hotter in taste as compared to black peppercorns. They are commonly used for meat marinades, stews, roasts, or vegetable pickles. They are also used as a home remedy for cough and asthma. If you want, you can easily grind them and use them as a seasoning for salads and other vegetables. 

You can anytime choose your pepper spice among these varieties of colorful peppercorns and add a vast range of flavors to your dishes. Depending upon the type of dish you are cooking and the texture it has, chooses an appropriate peppercorn spice. Try these different unique flavors and get ready to be amazed by their taste and aroma.

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