There is a lot of misinformation surrounding pepper. Firstly: ‘all pepper is born equal’ – wrong! The difference in taste between bottom-of-the-barrel supermarket peppercorns, and the top end of the market is enormous. If you don’t believe us, then conduct your own taste test ... you’ll be amazed.
It’s true that all peppercorns come from the same plant: piper nigrum – but just like wine, the soil and climate (‘terroir’) has a huge impact on their taste. Our pepper comes from Tellicherry, a region on the West Coast of India which is famed for producing a particularly large, fruity and aromatic variety of peppercorns.
Lots of local dishes have Tellicherry peppercorn as a lead flavour, (such as Indian style Pepper Chicken). This world ingredient has travelled spice routes for centuries, with dishes like Italian Cacio e Pepe and French Steak au Poivre using peppercorns as a backbone. In the UK black pepper is commonly used as a seasoning – so it makes sense to source top quality peppercorns and crush on demand to make sure that the finishing flavour packs a real punch.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Piper nigrum, Telicherry Black Pepper
As mentioned above, our Tellicherry peppercorns come from the west coast of India, which is widely-known as the best growing region for peppercorns. Tellicherry vines are now cultivated across South East Asia and even South America, but we believe it’s so important to go to the homeland of pepper production to ensure the best terroir, best practice and best product.
Tellicherry pepper is picked between January - March, when it’s still green and unripe. The peppercorns are laid out in the sun so their skins darken, harden and wrinkle, and then they're taken to a ‘garbling’ machine to be sorted by size. The small percent which are 4.25mm (a pinhead) or larger are skimmed off. It’s these bigger peppercorns which taste the most potent – the smaller surface area means that there’s more space inside for the aromas to develop.
COOK THIS SPICE
Tellicherry peppercorns should be stored in a dark, airtight container, to retain their potency. Crush or grind the peppercorns to demand – as soon as they have been cracked, they will quickly start to lose their aromas.
Piperine – one of the major components in black pepper – increases the way that the body absorbs nutrients. For example, if you eat black pepper with turmeric, then it will increase the amount of curcumin that the body absorbs from the turmeric. For more information, click HERE.