Green Peppercorns, Piper nigrum, are also called green pepper spice or green pepper. Alternative spelling is green pepper corn. Green, white, and black peppercorns all come from the same plant.
Green Peppercorns have an essential oil content of up to 5% that is made up of mostly monoterpenes.
What are Green Peppercorns
Green peppercorns are very similar to black peppercorns. They are both the unripe fruit of the same vine and can be picked at the same time. Unlike the heat drying process used to produce black peppercorns, green peppercorns are plucked from the peppercorn vine and then boiled, washed with potassium sulphite to halt the oxidization process (that would cause the green peppercorn to turn black), and then freeze dried or dehydrated.
Black peppercorns are also the unripe green fruit of the plant. The most common process of creating black peppercorns is to boil them after they have been picked and then use heat to dry them. The heat used in this process fractures the cell walls and turns them brown. On some estates, the peppercorns are not boiled first, but only dried by the sun. The difference between white peppercorns and green and black peppercorns is the time that they are picked and the process that is used once they have been harvested. White peppercorns are fully ripe red pepper fruits that are harvested and soaked in water for about 1 week, this allows the outer skin of the pepper fruit to soften and start to decompose. Rubbing then removes what is left of this outer shell and the the remaining inner seed is dried.
History of Green Peppercorns
While peppercorns are native to southern India and have been used in Indian cooking since 2000 BC, Green Peppercorns are more of a recent phenomenon. Before the mid 1960s there is little that has ever been written about the use of Green Peppercorns. In 1965 a young chef in Auch France, named André Daguin, who was working in the kitchen of the family’s hotel had become enthralled with the emerging nouvelle cuisine in France. He created a green peppercorn sauce for his grilled duck breast dish that became wildly popular and helped establish that region of southwest France as a required stop for traveling food lovers.
Today Green Peppercorns are used in green peppercorn butter, steak with green peppercorns and are regularly the pepper of choice for cold foods and the pepper used in Thai green curries.
Green Peppercorn Cultivation
Green Peppercorns are grown on a vine that is started by either the cuttings of another plant or seeds. Cuttings tend to be the easiest to work with, and new vines will take about 3 years before they begin to produce fruit (drupes). After their first drupes appear, the individual pepper vine will continue to produce drupes for about 20 years, and sometimes even longer if cared for exceptionally. Vines are typically wrapped up around poles to encourage them to grow upward. They can reach up to 30 feet in length, as long as they are protected from too much sun or too much water. These plants need some shade to thrive. In India, where they are commercially grown, their growth is typically around by trees - which provides protection from excessive sunlight. Typically, plants are covered with leaves or shade tarps of some sort during the day when the sun is directly over the plants.
Where are Green Peppercorns From
Our Green Peppercorns are cultivated in India.
What do Green Peppercorns Taste Like
They have a lightly floral flavor and aroma, with brisk pepper-pine notes and an unobtrusive heat that quickly fades. These have less of a sharp than black or white peppercorns.
Are Green Peppercorns and Capers the same Thing
No, Green Peppercorns and Capers are not the same thing. While they are often used as a substitute for one another, they come from different plants. Green Peppercorns are from the peppercorn vine, Piper nigrum, while capers are from the caper bush or Capparis spinosa.
What are Green Peppercorns Good For
Green Peppercorns can be used exactly like black peppercorns. Grind them up and use them in vegetable soup, on pasta dishes, in sauces or stews. Their delicate, peppery flavor goes wonderfully when it’s ground on fruit, so try them over strawberries, apricots, or pineapple. You can rehydrate Green Peppercorns; let them sit for an hour in the liquid of your choice. They will become puffy and smooth, and ready to use. Once rehydrated, you can use Green Peppercorns to make a classic butter sauce for steak; saute with shallot, butter, and your favorite dry red wine, drizzle over steak and enjoy.
One of our favorite recipes using green peppercorns was Inspired by the classic French recipe, Steak au Poivre.
Green Peppercorns are good with chicken, eggs, salmon, duck, pork, salads, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Works well in combination with other spices especially garlic, allspice, basil, caraway, cardamom, oregano, paprika, salt, and parsley.
Green Peppercorn Substitution
Substituting for Green Peppercorns can be challenging. Your best bet is to reach for black peppercorns, as they have a similar peppercorn flavor. If you are using fresh green peppercorns packed in a brine and you are looking for a substitute for that, capers are an okay substitute as they have similar flavor notes.
|Also Called||Green pepper spice or green pepper|
|Recommended Uses||Use in vegetable soup, on pasta dishes, in sauces or stews|
|Flavor Profile||A lightly floral flavor and aroma, with brisk pepper-pine notes and an unobtrusive heat that quickly fades|
|Oil Content||Up to 5%|
|Botanical Name||Piper nigrum|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*