Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Spice Rack: Black Pepper


The dried mature berry of a woody vine, black pepper is the world's most traded spice. The plant thrives in hot and humid climate and is native to South India, though it is now widely cultivated in countries like Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Hailing from a state that once held the monopoly in pepper production, it is no surprise that I rarely have to buy the spice from a shop. The vine is something that most people like to have at home. Even the Techie's City-Dwelling-Mummy (She will get a hearty laugh from that description of hers if she ever comes across the blog!) has one at home. My constant supply of black pepper however comes from my generous aunt GA, just like these Green Cardamoms.
The pepper berries are drupes and transitions from green to red colour as they ripen. Black pepper is obtained by simply by drying whole berries, picked while they are mature, but unripe and still green. The white pepper on the other hand consists of the seed alone (just like other drupes, pepper berries contain a single seed) of fully mature and ripe berries. The darker skins of the berries are removed usually by retting.

Notes:
  1. We come to the end of the Spice Series as I had originally intended it to be. (Curiously enough, the Black Pepper in the wooden pot was the first shot that I did for the series, which somehow got pushed to be published last.) However, I might continue with the series as spices are fun to shoot.

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