White Pepper

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Description

White pepper is a spice produced from the dried fruit of the pepper plant, Piper nigrum, as is black pepper. It is usually milder than black pepper, with less complex flavor. Both whole and ground white pepper are available.

White pepper has a hot taste on the tongue, although sources differ on whether it is hotter or milder than black pepper. For example, Cook's Illustrated says it's milder, while others say it has a sharper bite. Sources agree that white pepper is less complex in flavor than black pepper. It can have a musty, earthy, or grassy flavor, which can vary depending on the type of processing used and handling after production. If you don't like those notes, you should try a different source of white pepper. With the widespread use of white pepper in Asian cuisine, people may associate it with that flavor profile.



White pepper should be added after the dish has been cooked, as overheating can release a bitter flavor. It is chosen over black pepper either for appearance (as in creamed soups, vichyssoise, mashed or whipped potatoes, and clam chowder) or because of the difference in heat and flavor, as with Asian dishes.

Store white pepper in a tightly sealed container away from light. The peppercorns will store longer than ground white pepper, which will lose its flavor and potency after about three months. It won't spoil and will be safe to use, but you may need more to get the same flavor in your dish. For this reason, it's wise to purchase ground white pepper in smaller quantities that you will use in a shorter time frame.

White pepper has very few calories and adds a lot of flavor to a dish, which may enable to you cut back on salt. You usually would not use enough of it to benefit from the small amount of vitamin C, calcium, and iron it contains. The highest trace mineral content is manganese, with 2 percent of daily value for 1 gram (1/3 teaspoon). Like black pepper, white pepper can speed up your digestion and gut motility.

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