The origin of pepper is in the Malabar region, on the southwest coast of India. The pepper bush is a climbing plant that grow up into trees and can grow up to 10 meters in nature. In cultivation, the plant is usually kept at a height of max. 3-4 meters to facilitate harvesting. The leaves resemble the shape of an egg or a heart and grow from 10 to 20 centimeters. The shrub grows long panicles with many fruiting bodies, which are harvested at defined times in order to offer different qualities. There is the green pepper which is harvested unripe or the normal black pepper as well as the "Tellicherry" pepper which is harvested as late harvest. In ancient times and the Middle Ages, the trade with the hot berries proved to be extremely lucrative. Pepper was used as a remedy as well as to preserve food and to cover up rotten taste. Its ingredients have been proven to help with rheumatic pain, cramps and impure skin. Pepper also relieves coughs and stimulates digestion.
Pepper oleoresin is obtained by steam distillation, where the previously crushed plant particles are often mixed with a solvent. The solvent is then evaporated or the oleoresin concentrated by distillation. What remains is the pure oleoresin of the plant. This has to be diluted in the further process, because many substances are naturally unhealthy or poisonous for humans, if they are not diluted beforehand.
Fish lovers, should try salmon with green pepper. Pickled green pepper emphasizes the taste of the noble fish without drowning it out. Black pepper is a very universal spice.
Black pepper/white pepper
The pungent tasting grains are not only suitable for sauces, but also for soups, meat, fish, seafood, stews and desserts. However, as a connoisseur you should use the berries of the pepper plants with care, as it is relatively difficult to neutralize the pungency. A touch of black pepper on strawberries or in apple compote gives the sweet fruits a very special note. In potato salad, lentils or bean dishes, black pepper is one of the most important spices, so that the dish does not taste boring. You can buy black pepper already ground, but dishes will have a much better taste if the peppercorns are fresh ground in a pepper mill.
Despite the intense pungency of red pepper, this unique spice has a sweetish fruity note. Red pepper combines the best components of green, black and white pepper. Due to its distinctive red color, red pepper is often used as a decoration over food. The peppercorns harmonize with a variety of sweet and savory dishes.
Pepper contains over 200 different components. From a medical point of view, the alkaloid piperine is the most interesting. Numerous health-promoting effects are attributed to this ingredient. The traditional areas of application range from colds and flu, digestive problems and diabetes to rheumatic diseases and muscle pain.
Recent human studies have demonstrated its digestive, antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic and anti-asthmatic effects, among others. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that piperine promotes the absorption of nutrients.