In which culinary preparations should you favor the use of white pepper?

In which culinary preparations should you favor the use of white pepper?

Pepper is known as one of the oldest spices in the world. Centuries of knowledge have allowed spice enthusiasts to vary the use of different types of pepper in various recipes. Piper nigrum is the most well-known variety of pepper. Black pepper, red pepper, and green pepper, all derived from piper nigrum, are the most commonly used in cooking. But there is also another pepper that brings a unique flavor to dishes: white pepper. White pepper presents interesting advantages for substituting black pepper in cooking.

How do I obtain white pepper?

White pepper is a commercial form of the Piper Nigrum pepper plant, just like red pepper, black pepper, or green pepper. The color of the berries distinguishes these commercial varieties of black pepper from one another. This color varies depending on the moment of harvesting and the preparation of the berries. The preparation of white pepper involves picking the berries when they are ripe. At this precise moment, the berries have a beautiful red color. But the peculiarity of white pepper is that it removes this skin. Indeed, the berries are immediately plunged into clear water to remove the epicarp. Only the heart of the grain remains, which takes on a whitish color after drying in the sun.

For comparison, black pepper is harvested as the berries approach maturity. After drying in the sun for several days and with oxidation, the pepper grains begin to darken. Green pepper, on the other hand, is harvested when the berries are still green.

Where does white pepper come from?

Like black pepper, red pepper, and green pepper, white pepper comes from the species Piper nigrum. This variety of pepper, belonging to the Piperaceae family, originates from Asia, in southwestern India and Sri Lanka. Pepper comes in several colors before reaching maturity, ranging from green to red. Producers harvest pepper berries throughout these different stages of ripening. The timing of harvest and the preparation technique thus determine the final product and, of course, its taste.

What are the different types of white pepper?

white pepperThe white peppers found on the market generally bear the name of their country of origin. Each of the prestigious pepper terroirs in the world has white pepper, such as Muntok pepper in Indonesia, Malabar pepper in India, Sarawak pepper in northern Borneo in Malaysia, Penja pepper in Cameroon, Kampot white pepper in southern Cambodia, and Madagascar pepper.

What are the differences between white pepper and black pepper?

White pepper and black pepper come from a single pepper plant of the species Piper nigrum. But once prepared, they still have some differences, especially in terms of aroma intensity and spiciness. White pepper develops a much more intense aroma than black pepper, with a bit less spiciness. The reason is that piperine, the compound responsible for the spiciness of pepper, is mainly contained in the outer skin (epicarp) of black pepper. Being rid of its skin, white pepper has a flavor that is present immediately and much more subtle than other peppers. And it is believed that it is this subtlety of white pepper that makes it unique in seasoned recipes. Black pepper grains need to be crushed for most of their flavor to be revealed.

Where does the white pepper from Madagascar come from?

In Madagascar, pepper plantations are located on the east coast. The pepper plant prefers the humid and rainy microclimate of this region. Piper nigrum pepper trees in Madagascar flower twice a year, between July and September and between January and March. The berries reach maturity 9 months after the pepper tree blooms. Farmers harvest ripe pepper berries to produce white pepper. The berries are then stripped of their outer skin and dried until the final product is obtained.

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Which white pepper should I choose for seasoning dishes?

White pepper can be used to season dishes that are typically seasoned with other peppers. This gives a completely different flavor that spice enthusiasts will immediately notice. This is why white pepper is substituted for other peppers in certain recipes to bring out their uniqueness. Muntok white pepper is known worldwide for its creamy color, mild flavor, and aroma with woody and warm notes. Muntok white pepper is usually used to enhance the taste of fresh foie gras, poultry, and raw vegetables.

Kampot white pepper gives off a hint of citrus and fresh herbs. Since 2010, it has benefited from the IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) quality label. Kampot white pepper is perfect for enhancing the taste of red meats, duck, and fish fillets. Sarawak white pepper is a rare spice with a fresh and spicy flavor and an aroma with woody notes. Its use is preferred for enhancing the taste of foie gras, seafood, and fish.

When should I use white pepper in cooking?

White pepper can substitute for black pepper in any recipe. It is usually used to season cooked preparations such as stews, stir-fries, soups, roasts, sauces, and marinades. But it is especially used to enhance the taste of white sauces, fish, and poultry, as white pepper does not color the food. It is advisable to add white pepper only at the end of cooking. For raw preparations, white pepper is simply perfect for adding flavor to salads and dressings. The low spiciness of white pepper is also useful for creating a spice blend that is intense in aroma and less spicy.

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