Sri Lanka Black Pepper
3,40€ – 5,90€
Black Pepper is the most used spice in the world, freshly sprinkled on every kind of dish.
Sri Lankan pepper, sourced from small organic farms in Sri Lanka, has floral and citrus notes and a high level of piperine. It is a great all around pepper, perfect to have on your pepper mill for everyday use
Density: 550 g/lt
This post was updated on February 2nd, 2019
Pepper, the most consumed spice in the world, is derived from the berries (or to be botanically correct: drupes) of the piper nigrum plant. According to the time of harvest and the post-harvest process we have the different types of pepper: green pepper, black pepper, red pepper and white pepper. For black pepper the drupes are harvested green, then blanched and sundried. The oxidation that occurs during drying is responsible for the black color.
Piper nigrum is native of the Malabar coast in the actual Indian state of Kerala, and from here it was traded since ancient times: peppercorns were found in the nostrils of Ramses (around 1300 BC), put there when he was mummified, Romans used it abundantly (in the Apicius, roman cookbook probably compiled in 1st century AD, most of the recipes include black pepper). Arabs merchants held for centuries the monopoly of pepper trade from India, with Venice and Genoa being the intermediaries for trade into Europe. This monopoly eventually led adventurers like Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Magellan, to find new routes toward the spice lands in the East and contributed to modify the whole geography of the then-known world.
We source our black pepper from small farmers in Sri Lanka, that grow it organically. The cultivation is in mixed crops with coconuts or teas, that is good for the environment, as polyculture is more resistant to pests and for the farmers, because it gives multiple sources of revenues.
The density is 550 gram/liter, meaning that the peppercorns are quite big and dense, a guarantee of higher quality. The taste of Sri Lankan black pepper is richly aromatic, with floral and citrus notes, while keeping a good pungency, due to its high piperine content. The piper nigrum berries are harvested when green and slightly immature, and this makes the final product deep black in color and very rich in essential oil.
TASTE AND USES IN THE KITCHEN
Black Pepper is used essentially as a finishing touch on dishes, to add pungency and aroma to meats, fishes and vegetables. In its native land, India, nowadays chili pepper has supplanted pepper as a seasoning, so pepper is mostly exported to Europe and Americas where it is the standard condiment present in every table alongside salt.
Sri Lankan black peppercorns have an intense floral flavor, ideal on meats but also on sauteed and roasted vegetables.
Grinding fresh peppercorns is mandatory for flavor and aroma, as pre-ground pepper is often stale and quickly lose its volatile oils and its properties.
Even if pepper is native of the Malabar coast, India is not the biggest producer anymore, with Vietnam and Indonesia taking the largest shares of the market. Nevertheless, Indian black peppers (categorized as Malabar and Tellicherry according to their origin and size – read here for more info on Indian peppers) are still sought after for their quality.
Brazil, Malaysia and Sri Lanka are also big producers: Malaysia exports the famous Sarawak pepper; Brazil a pepper known as Belem, from the name of the principal port from which it is shipped, a mild pepper, not too hot but aromatic; and Sri Lanka producing a pepper rich in piperine and well reputed for its very aromatic taste.
Pure origin peppers are now being increasingly marketed, and the public is more and more interested in discovering spices that come from a specific “terroir” not unlike wines.
Kampot Pepper from Cambodia, Sarawak Pepper from Malaysia, Penja Pepper from Cameroun, Lampong and Muntok (this last only in form of white pepper) from Indonesia are just some of the most famous.
Black pepper can obviously be freshly sprinkled on about every dish, but according to flavor profiles it pairs astonishing well with the following products:
Spices – Cardamom, coriander, cumin, clove, turmeric, star anise, nutmeg
Seasonings and herbs – Basil, citrus juice and zest, thyme, rosemary, cilantro
Fruits & Vegetables – Onion, grilled vegetables, root vegetables
Proteins – Beef, charcuterie, beans and lentils
Other – Pasta, dairy
Black pepper is a warming spice according to ayurveda.
Amongst the ailments for which black pepper was administered to patients we can find diarrhea, constipation, arthritis, insect bites, and pulmonary and cardiovascular troubles. It also stimulates appetite and digestion, and it is good as a decongestant for stuffy nose.
It is often used in combination with other spices, because its component Piperine increases the bio-availability of many nutrients (such as selenium, beta-carotene, curcumin and vitamins A and C). That’s why it is always recommended to add a pinch of black pepper in turmeric preparation and dishes to better absorb curcumin.
In CTM (Chinese Traditional Medicine) pepper is described as a spice capable of warming the body, used to dissipate cold and melt phlegm. In combination with other warming spices like ginger and cinnamon it can be used in infusions to fight cold and flu.
It also stimulates appetite and helps the production of digestive enzymes in the pancreas; it also speeds up the intestinal transit (a slow transit is often associated with many troubles).
NAME IN OTHER LANGUAGES (FRENCH, ARABIC, HINDI, SPANISH, CHINESE)
|Scientific name||Piper nigrum|
|Chinese (Mandarin)||Hu jiao||胡椒|
|Hindi||Kali mirch, Gol Mirch, Gulki||गोल मिर्च, काली मिर्च|
Matale district, Sri Lanka