What Is White Pepper?
Peppercorns are the fruit of Piper nigrum, an evergreen climbing vine. Black, white, and green peppercorns all come from the same plant, but they are harvested at different times and handled in different ways. To make white pepper, the berry is picked fully ripe. Its outer shrunken skin is rubbed off, exposing the dried, grayish-white pepper inside. White pepper has a milder, more delicate flavor than black pepper, and is useful for adding a peppery flavor to light-colored sauces and soup without adding black color. White pepper is popular in European cuisines.
White Pepper Plant and Cultivation
White Peppercorns are the mature berries of the Pepper vine, from which the outer covering has been removed. The Pepper vine may reach ten feet in height and thrives as a crop in rich, well-drained soil in light shade and high humidity. The fruit clusters are picked ripe and retted (soaked) for eight days, so that their outer hulls are easily removed, and then dried.
White Peppercorns, as well as Black and Green are actually the same fruit and come from the same plant (Piper nigrum); the difference in color simply reflects the various stages of development and processing methods. White Pepper have a less subtle, biting flavor with a mildly fermented, musty aroma.
White Pepper Description
Derived from the same plant as Piper nigrum, White Pepper is ripe fruit, partially deprived of its pericarp by maceration in water, then rubbed and dried in the sun. It contains albuminous seed, having small starch grains, taste and smell like Pepper, more aromatic than black and not so pungent. Same as the black, but containing more starch and less ash. Sold as whole White Pepper or broken White Pepper. The removed hulls are sold separately as Pepper hulls, and form a brownish powder, very pungent in smell and flavour and containing a large quantity of oleoresin of Pepper, but no piperine. Sometimes the hulls are mixed with the broken White Pepper; this mixture has more oleoresin in it and less piperine.
Uses of White Pepper
Aside from culinary deliciousness, pepper has other uses. It is toxic to several insects so is an effective insecticide. You can sprinkle pepper around non-garden areas to keep insects out. Mix ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper to one quart of warm water and spray it on plants to kill ants, potato bugs, and silverfish. Pepper has also been used as a brandy flavor and in perfumes.
10 Health Benefits of White Pepper
1- Anti-oxidant Properties - The presence of flavonoids and vitamins in white pepper is responsible for its anti-oxidant properties. This makes white pepper a potential fighter against the organisms that might enter the body and harm the cells in it.
2- Improves Digestion - A unique trait of white pepper is that it stimulates the taste buds to send a signal to the stomach to secrete hydrochloric acid, which is essential for the digestion of food. Hence, it is a quintessential part of the daily diet we consume.
3- Blood Sugar Control - Since white pepper is helpful in boosting the metabolism of the body and also assists the digestion process, it has been found to be beneficial in blood sugar control.
4- Mineral Source - White pepper is rich in flavonoids, and Vitamins A, K and C. It contains a large quantity of manganese, iron, and dietary fibres and thus ensures a healthy supply of minerals to the body.
5- Cures Toothache - White pepper powder is known to provide relief from toothaches when used in combination with clove oil or table salt.
6- Prevents Flatulence - For a long time, white pepper and all the other kinds of peppers are known to have carminative properties, due to which it prevents the formation of gas in the intestines. It happens as pepper boosts the secretion of hydrochloric acid and assists in carrying out digestion more effectively.
7- Improves Eyesight - White pepper benefits eyes by improving the eyesight of people. Its use along with almond powder, sugar crystals, aniseeds and Triphala powder has been known to help people who are having a weak eyesight. However, it is recommended to seek the advice of a recognized herbal practitioner before using this method as it might not be suitable in certain conditions.
8- Cataract Cure - White pepper is also considered quite effective for seeking a cure to cataract. Combine with almonds in a 1:5 ratio and then mix with brown sugar and ghee. It makes a miraculous cure for cataract that has been tried and tested on many patients.
9- Skin Cancer Prevention - The use of white pepper or black pepper powder on the skin can prevent it from the dangerous UV rays of the sun that can cause skin cancer and other skin ailments. However, it is recommended to seek the opinion of a skin expert as this ingredient might not be suitable for all skin types.
10- Vitiligo Curing - Pepper contains piperine, which is a substance that is extremely beneficial for the stimulation of pigmentation on the skin. It is an ideal solution for a condition like vitiligo, in which skin starts losing its pigments and turns white. The best thing about using pepper for this purpose is that it is completely natural and has no side effects as against the chemical-based medicines.
Producing Countries of White Pepper
Over the last 20 years pepper exports have increased from 76,816 tons to 197,447 tons recording an annual growth rate of 5%. Today, Vietnam is actually the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper, accounting for 34%, while India now provides 19% of this spice. It’s interesting to think that pepper was once currency and now pepper and pepper grinders are items found in just about every home.
Consuming Countries of White Pepper
United States is the number one importer of pepper in the world. United States imported more pepper than any one country exported. United States bought a total of 18% of the world’s pepper in 2009.
The next largest buyer of pepper was Germany, who bought less than half that of the United States. Countries like Canada, Russia and Japan who preferred pepper from India have now switched over to other import hubs such as Vietnam.
Recipe for Beverages with White Pepper
Watermelon White Pepper ShrubIngredients
A: 1⁄2 large watermelon, blended (about 8 1/2 cups of liquid)
B: 8 cups granulated sugar (or to taste)
C: 1 ounce white pepper
D: 4 1⁄4 cups champagne vinegar
A: Puree flesh of the watermelon in a blender.
B: Pour the flesh into a large bowl, then add sugar and white pepper.
C: Cover and place in your refrigerator for 2 days. (You’ll begin to notice the liquid separating from the fruit.).
D: Strain out solids; add champagne vinegar.
E: Store, covered, in large mason jars or bottles leaving at least half an inch of head room for 1-2 weeks. (The longer the shrub ages, the more mellowed out the flavors should become. Just keep it in your refrigerator).
Recipe for Cooking with White Pepper
Potato latkes (Potato Pancakes)Ingredients
A: 1kg/2lb 4oz old or baking potatoes, peeled, soaked in cold water until needed
B: 1 onion, peeled
C: 25g/1oz plain flour or fine matzoh meal
D: 1 free-range egg, beaten
E: salt and freshly ground white pepper
F: olive or vegetable oil, for frying
A: For the latkes, finely grate the potatoes and onion and mix together.
B: Place the grated potato and onion into a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Or roll up the potato and onion in a clean kitchen tea towel and wring well to extract the liquid.
C: Mix the potato and onion with the flour, egg and salt and freshly ground white pepper.
D: Heat the oil in a frying pan until moderately hot and then place heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the pan to shallow-fry. Lower the heat to medium, flatten each latke with the back of a spoon and fry for about five minutes on each side, turning over when the edges turn golden-brown. If the heat is too high, the latkes will become dark-brown on the outside before they are cooked inside.
E: Remove the latkes from the pan and drain on brown paper bags (they absorb the oil, leave the latkes crisper and the latkes won't stick to the paper).
F: Serve the latkes hot with soured cream and apple sauce.
Recipe for Dessert with White Pepper
Marinated Strawberries with Mint and Clotted CreamIngredients
A: 400g/14oz strawberries, washed and quartered
B: 55g/2oz caster sugar
C: ½ lemon, juice only
D: pinch of ground white pepper
E: 1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
F: clotted cream, to serve
A: Place half of the strawberries into a large bowl with most of the sugar and all of the lemon juice. Using a fork, mash well. Mix the remaining quartered strawberries into the mashed strawberry mix.
B: Season the mixture with the pepper and chopped mint and adjust the sweetness to taste with the remaining sugar. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
C: To serve, place the strawberries into bowls and spoon over clotted cream.