What are pink peppercorns?

What are pink peppercorns?

Pink peppercorn berries, also known as Brazilian pepper, American pepper, rose pepper, Bourbon pepper, incense, false pepper, pink pepper, and Chinese coffee, all refer to the same spice. Behind the vernacular names given to pink peppercorns lies a remarkable spice with characteristics that are not widely known. It is found in South America, Madagascar, Reunion Island, and New Caledonia. These versatile berries are commonly used to add a subtle and slightly sweet flavor to dishes, making them a highly sought-after spice in the culinary world. If you wish to incorporate this unique spice into your culinary creations, consider making a purchase or contacting us for more information.

What are the varieties of pink peppercorns and their differences?

There are two varieties of Pink peppercorn berries: Schinus molle and Schinus terebinthifolius. Both varieties originate from South America and belong to the Anacardiaceae family. Schinus molle comes from Peru, hence its name “Peruvian pepper.” It was classified by the Swedish botanist Linnaeus in 1753. Schinus terebinthifolius is found in southeastern Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. It was classified by the Italian botanist Raddi in 1820. While they are often confused, both varieties have distinct characteristics. The two trees can be distinguished by their size; Molle is a large tree that can reach 15 meters in height, while Terebinthifolius is of medium size, approximately 5 to 10 meters. However, producers often trim the pink peppercorn trees to a height of 3 meters for easier harvesting. Another difference lies in the leaves; Molle has longer and finer leaves, where as Terebinthifolius has lanceolate to elliptical leaves. Pink peppercorn berries, known for their mild and slightly sweet flavor, are often used as a spice in various culinary applications.

What is the particularity of the pink peppercorn from Madagascar?

In recent years, Madagascar has become a significant producer of pink peppercorns, including the pink peppercorn berries. Pink peppercorns from Madagascar mainly come from Schinus terebinthifolius, but there are also pink peppercorns from the Schinus molle variety. In Madagascar, Schinus terebinthifolius has two sub-varieties: the acutifolius variety (pink fruits and 22 cm leaves) and the terebentifolius variety (redder fruits and smaller 17 cm leaves). The pink peppercorn from Madagascar is recognized by its vibrant color and a unique blend of spicy, aniseed, and sweet flavors, with both fresh bergamot and warm pepper notes. Malagasy people do not use pink peppercorns extensively in their daily cooking, so the majority of the production, including the sought-after pink peppercorn berries, is destined for export

How is pink peppercorn produced?

The production of pink peppercorns in Madagascar is a meticulous process. The harvesting of Pink peppercorn berries takes place when the berries are fully ripe and have a beautiful bright red color. The pink peppercorns are harvested in small clusters, dried in the shade, and sorted. Sorting is a crucial step for producers. Although there is considerable loss, it is necessary to achieve commercially acceptable quality. The use of tweezers is often necessary during the final sorting to achieve optimal quality, including good color uniformity, size, and appearance.

Where is pink peppercorn cultivated in Madagascar?

In Madagascar, the cultivation of pink peppercorns dates back to the 19th century with the arrival of Creole settlers on the high plateaus. These Reunionese settlers established themselves west of the capital, in the region along the Sakay River. The Bongolava region is currently one of the major producers of Pink peppercorn berries in Madagascar. There are also plantations in the Antsinanana regions (in the eastern part of Madagascar), Antsimo-Antsinanana (in the southeast), and Anosy (in the south). There are two types of plantations: spontaneous plantations where trees grow wild without specific care and more managed orchard-like plantations (pruning, weeding, and fertilization) to facilitate harvesting and maintain good yields.

What is the culinary use of pink peppercorn?

Pink peppercorn berries are used in cooking as a spice, similar to pepper, cinnamon, saffron, etc. Pink peppercorns have a taste that is challenging to describe, unlike regular pepper. In addition to the warm flavor of pepper, pink peppercorns have a slightly sweet and aniseed taste that complements various preparations. Pink peppercorns are perfect for enhancing all kinds of dishes, especially on special occasions due to their higher price compared to regular pepper. It is often used in recipes with meat, fish, seafood, duck breast, etc. With its slightly aniseed flavor, pink peppercorns bring freshness to sauces, marinades, salads, soups, and cheeses. They are also commonly paired with fruits in desserts.

What is the use of pink peppercorn in aromatherapy?

The use of Pink peppercorn berries is not limited to the kitchen. It has several interesting properties for our health, whether ingested as a spice or used in aromatherapy. Pink peppercorns are known for their anti-inflammatory, circulatory, expectorant, antiseptic, tonic, and antibacterial properties. In aromatherapy, pink peppercorn essential oil is used to alleviate various ailments. The essential oil of pink peppercorn is known to relieve digestive disorders (bloating, colic, nausea), gastric issues, respiratory problems (cold, cough), muscular problems (aches, tendinitis), and joint problems (arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism). Athletes also use pink peppercorn essential oil to prepare their muscles for exertion. When mixed with other essential oils, pink peppercorn essential oil can purify the air in the home.

What is the use of pink peppercorn in perfumery?

The use of spices is common in perfumery to add freshness or nuance certain notes. Like regular pepper, pink peppercorn is used in both feminine and masculine perfumes. The aroma of pink peppercorn acts as a top note, while regular pepper is present in the top, heart, and base notes of the perfume. Perfumers find in Pink peppercorn berries a spicy and lemony aroma, with notes of bergamot and lavender. The spicy and delicate fragrance of pink peppercorn contributes to the composition of floral, oriental, and woody-spicy perfumes. Lancôme’s Miracle is one of the first perfumes to use spicy and aromatic notes.

 

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