Smooth, round, and creamy-white, White Peppercorns emit a deeply woody, pine-rich aroma with a ticklish spice that carries the top notes. The smell is very brisk and straightforward, and that is mirrored in the flavor. White Peppercorns’ flavor starts with a quick, clean burn driven by their primary volatile oil, piperine. It fades into a lingering, pleasantly tingly bitterness. The volatile oil content in White Peppercorns resides at about 2%, which accounts for the sharp burn that stays on the lips.
White Peppercorns are a berry, the product of the Piper nigrum vine, the exact same vine that gives us black, green, or red peppercorns. The difference lies in how long the fruits of the Piper nigrum are allowed to remain on the vine and how they’re processed after harvest. Black and green peppercorns are still immature when picked; they are either allowed to dry in the sun and turn wrinkly black, or bathed in a solution to stop their aging, preserving them at their green stage. Peppercorns turn red when they ripen, and White Peppercorns are ripened fruits, soaked until the red husk pulls off. The smooth white inner seed is left behind, an embodiment of the heart of the mature pepper fruit.
Tips From Our Kitchen
White Peppercorns are often the pepper of choice in white- or light-colored dishes where they will blend in with the surrounding dish and not create a color contrast. Reach for it when making a bechamel, velouté, or hollandaise, or pork or chicken rillettes. It is a common spice in Thai cooking so try it in Panang curry or Thai-style baked chicken wings. It’s a great addition to light colored seafoods; have some with pan-seared halibut or crab fritters.
White Peppercorns should always be creamy in color, not pure white, which indicates that they’ve been treated with peroxide to “brighten” them. They should also taste crisp and clean; a muddy or musty flavor indicates that they have been dried improperly. This will only get more pronounced as it sits in the pantry.
We also carry a 40-mesh Ground White Pepper if you prefer that we grind it for you.
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*