Why not all Pepper is the same: Varieties

Why not all Pepper is the same: Varieties

Not all pepper is the same - you can see that in every shop. From white to black pepper and sometimes it says Tellicherry or Banasura. But very few people know that every type of pepper actually comes from the same plant.
We share the most interesting facts about pepper with you, where it grows and what makes this vine so fascinating.
weisse Pfefferkörner in einem Holzlöffel

Overview of Pepper Species

We all know and love pepper, right? That hot stuff that's on almost every table? But here's the thing: not all pepper is created equal. We have classic black pepper, white pepper, green pepper and also red pepper. And here's the kicker: they all come from the same plant. Every "true" peppercorn is always harvested from a vine called Piper nigrum, just at different stages of ripeness. Then add the processing differences and we have green, white, red, black and fermented pepper. But what exactly am I looking at now?

Black Pepper: The Classic

Black pepper is the undisputed king of pepper varieties. Its grains are so popular that they appear in almost every recipe. But did you know that black pepper is actually green? The trick lies in the drying process that turns green pepper into the spicy black. The berries are fermented for weeks and then dried. By the way, if you buy it already ground, you're missing out! Freshly ground black pepper has more oomph and really spices up your food.
Black pepper makes steaks, roasts and dark sauces as well as fresh salad dressings a pleasure. With its pleasant, finely spicy heat and minty aroma, black Kampot pepper, a cultivar of pepper, is one of the finest types of pepper in the world. Freshly ground from the pepper mill, it is a fantastic taste experience.

White Pepper: The Light Beauty

Well, let's not overlook the white elephant in the room - white pepper! White pepper is the secret agent among spices, so to speak. What makes it special? Its outer layer is removed; the pulp, which makes it mild yet spicy. Ideal for light sauces if you don't want black grains in it.
White pepper with its fresh lemon note perfectly refines poultry or fish dishes, vegetables, light sauces, soups and salads or spicy dressings. Its mild spiciness and piquant aroma make it a rarity. The aroma develops most intensely when the pepper berry is ground shortly before consumption.
Eine Bäuerin, die gerade frische Pfefferkörner erntet

Red Pepper: The Fruity Secret Weapon

Red pepper is the favorite of pretty much everyone in our factory and is not our bestseller for nothing. Red pepper is made from ripe, red pepper berries and is not fermented like black pepper. This results in fruity, red and dried peppercorns that almost exude a certain sweetness, followed by the intense pepper kick.
Red pepper goes particularly well with chicken, fish, pasta and delicious spicy sauces. Thanks to its fruity-sweet aroma, red pepper is very interesting for any type of dessert or fruit. Red peppercorns taste best freshly ground or crushed.

Green Pepper: The Fresh Alternative

Green pepper is like the fresh breath of the pepper world. It is harvested unripe and either dried or pickled. The crunchy bite and fresh spiciness make it the ideal accompaniment to fish and poultry. By the way, if you have pickled green pepper in your hand, don't think twice - add it to your next dish! In Thailand, people like to cook with green pepper - in curries you often see the fresh berries on the stem while they are simmering.
Fermented pepper: Complex pepper notes
Like black pepper, fermented pepper is harvested from green, i.e. unripe berries, and then processed further. The difference is that salt and water are added to freshly fermented pepper so that the peppercorns cannot dry out. The result is impressive: the grains remain soft, are salty, spicy but not too spicy, and bring with them a real load of umami.
Fermented pepper should only ever be used for finishing. Unfortunately, the complex aromatics from the fermentation are lost during cooking. Our tip: fermented pepper is perfect for raclette.

Other Types of Pepper that are not PepperRosa Schinusbeeren, die kein Pfeffer sind aber ähnlich schmecken

Pink pepper: The spice from South America

Pink pepper is the oddball in the pepper family. But wait, it's not even a real pepper! It belongs to a completely different plant family. These little pink balls are more sweet and fruity than spicy. Perfect for adding a touch of exoticism to your dishes. Pink pepper is also called Schinus berry and has only small amounts of piperine - and is therefore rather mild

Long Pepper: The unexpected surprise

Now that we've covered the usual suspects, let's take a look at long pepper. It looks a bit like a twin of black pepper, but it's not actually part of the pepper family. Long pepper has an elongated shape and is native to India. Its flavor is complex, with a spicy, slightly sweet note that makes it an exciting addition to your spice palette. Additionally, long pepper numbs the tongue a little, which makes this spice even more interesting. Try it in a spicy curry or on grilled vegetables.

Sichuan pepper: The tingling adventure

Now we're going on an exciting journey to China to discover Sichuan pepper. This pepper really has it all. It not only brings spice, but also a tingling, numbing feeling to your tongue, just like the long pepper. This is due to the alkaloids it contains, which cause a slight tingling sensation. Sichuan pepper is often used in Sichuan cuisine to give dishes that distinctive, exciting taste. Sichuan pepper belongs to the citrus family and is therefore really "lemony" Try it in a chicken kung pao dish or in a spicy broth for a taste experience that you won't soon forget. Did you know that there are 4 types of Sichuan pepper? In Europe, however, we only ever get Timut Sichuan pepper, which is reminiscent of grapefruit. In Japan, Sansho Sichuan pepper is widely used and has more citrus and lemon aromas.

Grains of Paradise: The Mysterious Relatives

Have you ever heard of grains of paradise? These little treasures are the mysterious relatives of pepper and come from West Africa. They look like mini peppercorns and have a mild, slightly lemony taste with a subtle spiciness. Grains of paradise are a great addition to marinades, dressings and even desserts. Their fresh, exotic note adds a surprising and refreshing dimension to your dishes. Try them on grilled fish or in a refreshing salad to enchant your taste buds. Grains of paradise are an insider tip that you should definitely try if you want to explore the diversity of the pepper world.

Pepper in the kitchen

Now that we know the ways of pepper, let's talk about using it in the kitchen. Black pepper will add a kick to your pasta, white pepper is great with potato dishes, green pepper loves fish, and red pepper - well, it adds a bit of glamour to any dish. But you don't have to stick to these rules! Experiment with different types and find out which pepper suits your palate.
Detailphoto von Pfefferkörnern

Conclusion: Which pepper suits you?

It's time to do the pepper test! Try them all, be a pepper detective and find out which one suits your culinary style. You'll be surprised how these little grains can change the taste of your dishes. And remember, pepper is not just for seasoning, it's also for having fun in the kitchen! And if you have any questions or want to share your own pepper adventures, just write in the comments. We look forward to hearing your spicy stories!

Matthias Hirsch

Matthias ist der Gründer von Gipfelhirsch und verpackt seit 2021 intensiven Geschmack mit Humor und einem vollen Label Wissen zusammen in alles was gut schmecken soll.

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1 comment

Danke für die super Aufstellung der verschiedenen Arten von Pfeffer.
Ich denke Du hast aus einem guten Grund den gemahlenen Industrie-“Pfeffer” nicht erwähnt. :)
Der verdient den Namen Pfeffer eigentlich nicht, da er nur aus verarbeitetem “Abfall” besteht, aus dem bereits Piperin entzogen wurde.


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