Pepper, Black Medium
1 lb bag $7.65
5 lb bag $38.25
Medium Black Pepper
Ground black pepper sits on nearly every dinner table in America. This grind (Mesh #28 for spice merchants) is the one most people know. Commonly referred to as “table grind,” it perks up nearly every dish, and is a well-known digestive aid. The chemical piperine is what gives the pepper fruit its moderate heat.
The fruit of the pepper plant is picked when it’s an unripe red color, boiled briefly then sun-dried for a few days.
Around the time of Christ, Imperial Rome would routinely send 120 ships through the Arabian Sea, following the monsoon winds to the Malabar Coast of India. Black pepper was well-known even then, though expensive as an imported product. When the Roman empire was on its last legs, the invading Visigoths demanded 3000 pounds of pepper as part of the ransom when they sacked the capitol.
But apparently, even thousands of years later, no study has been done to determine why pepper makes you sneeze.
Today, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper – 34% of the global crop — but it’s rarely used in Vietnamese cuisine. The French are said to prefer white pepper for lighter dishes, but Jacques Pepin poo-pooed white pepper’s lack of flavor to Julia Child .