Dream Pepper


10 kinds of pepper you have to taste

I always thought the world of spices was incredibly charming. It has always sent me a something exotic. It was enough to inhale the aromas and I was thrown for a few seconds between the stalls of a busy Asian street market or a North African souk. Never as after I started to venture along the paths of the barbecue, however, I was able to really appreciate all their nuances. There are some families on which you could fill treaties about without being sure of having exhausted the subject. These include definitely the pepper, a spice which moreover in our world takes on a double meaning: the inevitable basic ingredient of traditional SPG (Salt, Pepper and Garlic) Brisket Rub as for many others, and fantastic finishing  enrichment for a steak made with all the trappings.

If you enter even slightly on the subject, it is easy to find out how common use, there is a tendency on the one hand to encompass the term “Pepe” a bit ‘of everything and the other to deepen not enough what  the contribution of each species can be in the gastronomic profile of the plate. Very often the different types of pepper we buy in the supermarket are nothing but the berries of the same plant, collected with different degrees of maturation or otherwise processed. Green pepper is more delicate, fresh and aromatic simply because it is collected more immature. Red is just the color of the berry when fully ripe, fixed through drying in the oven instead of under the sun. Black pepper is the most intense and coincides with the average maturity of the berry. Finally the white is less pungent because it is allowed to soak in water up to maceration of the pericarp, the main guardian of piperine, responsible for the pungency. In this regard, I advise you to be wary of those whose berries are lighter than a cream white cause they are likely to have been treated with sulfur dioxide.

In almost all other cases of similar products commonly available, it is not piperacee but berries from similar plants that lend themselves to the same use, however, although with different aroma profiles. Examples are the Pink Pepper and the Szechuam Pepper. Unfortunately here it stops the experience of the average user in the magical world of Pepe. A little ‘as with the café, species and terroir are capable of producing very different sensory experiences, even the Pepper can give us great emotions if we learn to know him better. One aspect moreover very underrated on Pepper is his olfactory contribution, solely because in commercial products is virtually non-existent, partly because of the fact that are sold already ground and not in berries.

Once the overall picture, so I can confide ten kinds of pepper, including piperacee and not, which in my view really worth a try

Malagueta (Fam. Aframomum)
Pepe MalaguetaTypical tropical plant of the east coast, the same family of ginger. Formerly used throughout Europe in the Middle Ages to flavor beverages, especially beer, then virtually disappeared. In this case it is not even the berries but seed, small, and looking round and reddish. The aroma is resinous, spicy and aromatic, slightly pungent with final notes which resemble the Cardamom. The flavor is warm and far more pungent, bitter end in which betrays a reference ginger. And ‘good on vegetables or as a “cut” for the pepper component of the SPG. Personal advice: try it in the Tiger Sauce, decreasing the amount of Horseradish.

Pepe MalabarAmong the various types proposed it is perhaps the one closest to our concept of pepper. And ‘it originates in a coastal area of India with a long tradition in the cultivation, from which it takes its name and which is famous for the high quality of its products. The berry is the classic black, cultured medium maturing, rather leathery. Nose is fairly complex with notes of wood. The taste is very pungent and intense. Great on all the tasty meat, including venison. Personal advice: try it on the Lamb ribs.

Lungo del Bengala
Pepe Lungo BengalaPiperacea typical in India and Sri Lanca, where it grows in wild form. It ‘a type of pepper that I love very much and that unfortunately is not known as it deserves. The berry is very elongated, brown and reminiscent of a small pine cone. Extremely fragrant with hints of cinnamon and licorice. The taste is much less pungent than black pepper and significantly more aromatic, with reference to the known and perceived by the nose plus a finale that draws Anise. It has an awkward shape to handle and is moreover quite hard, so I recommend splintered before putting it in the pepper mill. And ‘known to be a pepper curiously suited to desserts, it is recommended for all delicate meats and even some types of fish such as salmon. Personal advice: exponentially increases the aromatic complexity of any beef steak.

Jamaica (fam Myrtacee)
Pepe JamaicaBerries are round and thick, reminiscent in appearance juniper berries. Of course they are native to Jamaica and many other countries of Central America, where it is commonly called pimiento. Once again it is the olfactory component to form its true added value: highly complex aroma with strong notes of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and a thousand other nuances. This is the reason why in the United States, where it is used, it is known with the name of All Spice. Even in this case, it is famous pairing with sweets. Personal advice: it is a perfect pepper to enrich complexity SPG and in my opinion is particularly warns on Beef Ribs.

Timut (Fam. Zanthoxiylum)
Pepe TimutIt is ‘the outside of the berry of a plant of Nepal, the same family of the most known pepper Szechuan. The olfactory component is by far its value added: an explosion of agrumate notes including the grapefruit stands out so unmistakable but are cleanly even the Lime and Passion Fruit. E ‘extremely tender, so there is likely to be used in the mill but needs mortar but I assure you it is worth it. Excellent on fish in general but my personal advice is to try it on crustaceans and on Lobster in particular. And it’s so intense that just very little is needed. And fortunately, because in the mouth it takes a slightly astringent feeling, so on large doses could be annoying.

pepe sarawakIt ‘a type of extremely valuable pepper, partly because of collection difficulties on steep terrain of Malaysia in which it originates. The berries are of medium size, brown in color and their distinguishing feature is their rough exterior. Less complex smell than other types of pepper although very intense, earthy notes stand out but fresh. It has an intense flavor, resinous and balsamic, less pungent than the sense of smell could presage. A gem in the gem: there is one white version, definitely more balanced and complex, with notes of sweet wine and raisin undergrowth. Personal advice: try it on a white chocolate sauce to match aromatic desserts.

Rosso Kampot
Pepe KampotIt ‘a type of native pepper of Cambogia, where it is pruned, watered and harvested entirely by hand, now at the peak of their ripeness and dried in the oven. It ‘a pepper of extreme quality, one of the most valued and appreciated by lovers of the genre. The added value of this pepper resides more in the gustatory component, for its unique feature of possessing obvious sweetish, fruity, in particular of red and aromatic fruits, combined with a deep intensity and with a strong pungency. Recommended coverings of all types of meat and on tasty crustaceans such as crab. personal advice: Pepper is a gourmet kitchen. I find it amazing on duck breast.

Pepe LampongAnother high-quality pepper, a native of Sumatra island. The berry is the classical round of rather small body. It is a particular pepper playing on the balance between his power and its complexity. The nose scents of forest with balsamic notes of incense, strong and intense that portend subsequent sensations in the mouth, which arrive on time, although even more complex than it already would expect. The hints are herbaceous and fresh, recalling green pepper. It impresses with its long persistence. It’s a unique pepper which you have to appreciate by itself so it fits to all the matches where you may like to experiment. Personal advice: I like it on game.

Bianco Muntok
pepe bianco muntokCreamy white berries are small, perfectly round, cultivated in Indonesia. It ‘a precious pepper, even used as a reference for the Spice Market on the New York Stock Exchange. It stands out for its elegance, combined with a spiciness not particularly strong, as often happens for all the white pepper. The nose is very aromatic with a distinctive note that some may be almost annoying and others call “smoked.” On the palate, especially when matched to the dishes tend to change to  a refined way. Excellent with white meat and fish. Personal advice: try the linguine with lobster.

pepe voatsiperiferyIt’s a rare pepper that grows spontaneously from similar plants in lianas that colonize tall trees in Madagascar between 20 and 30 meters and therefore extremely difficult to harvest. The berries are small, slightly oval, brown with a distinctive stem. The nose is fresh, floral but pungent. The taste is fruity, slightly lemony, delicately sweet and aromatic, not too spicy, balanced. Perhaps it is the most complex among the ten, in general always extremely pleasant. Versatile use, fits in delicate meats such as fish to the more robust like beef or lamb. Personal advice: in this case, I like to use it to spice up my gourmet dishes. I particularly like the plated Fois Gras.

pepe cubebeIt is a climbing spontaneous Indonesian and African plant. The berries are similar to those of the classic black pepper, it was not for the presence of a small stalk. The interior is white and very rich in essential oils, responsible for its wealth of aromas. Just her clearest interior contributes once ground, to make the whole clearer. This is the reason for which is also commonly called gray pepper. The nose resembles the pimiento but with more citrus notes. The mouth has a bitter underlying trend, with notes of nutmeg and a mean pungency. Suitable for a bit ‘everywhere be used even if the game seems to give her up. Personal advice: I like it in combination with tomatoes. And it even was able to please me a bloody mary.

I leave you with one last personal advice: in addition to suggest you to grind pepper only at the time of service, so as to protect it from oxidation and thus promote the development of complex aromas, I urge you to try to play with the grind of your peppermill. You’ll discover new nuances of pleasure.


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