Is black pepper a spice?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is black pepper a spice?”. We will also discuss the taste of black pepper, why it is called the king of spices, and where it comes from. Moreover, we will also answer if black pepper and Szechuan pepper are the same and discuss some of the healing properties of black pepper.

Is black pepper a spice?

Yes, black pepper is a spice. It is also commonly referred to as pepper all over the world. Its distinct flavors pair well with most of the savory dishes as well as some sweet dishes. Adding black pepper to your recipes adds layers of flavors as well as some spiciness. 

What does black pepper taste like?

Black pepper has hot, pungent, earthy, and woody flavors with some bitter undertones. 

It has to be noted that whole or crushed black peppercorns are a lot more intense and flavorful than ground black pepper. 

They contain a chemical compound called piperine, which makes the flavors of black peppercorn a lot stronger than its other varieties.

Why is black pepper called the king of spices?

Black pepper is known as the king of spices because of its strong flavors and aroma. Its numerous uses in the culinary and medicinal world have also helped it get that title. 

There’s a reason why it’s always salt and pepper on the tables. Black pepper is a versatile spice that goes well with most of the other ingredients as well as the other spices.

Where does black pepper come from?

Black pepper is derived from the tiny black berries known as black peppercorns; these peppercorns are grown in the vines of the Piper nigrum plant from the Piperaceae family. 

The name itself is derived from the Sanskrit name for long pepper, “pippali”. The Greek word “peperi” and Latin word “piper” were both inspired by the Sanskrit name.

Peppercorns can be black, white, green, or red depending on harvest season and processing. 

Black peppercorn is the most commonly harvested and used peppercorn which is also used to make black pepper. However, these peppercorn berries are plucked while they are still green. They are then fermented and sun-dried until they shrink and turn a brownish-black color for black pepper.

Is black peppercorn and Scezuan peppercorn the same?

No, black peppercorns and Szechuan peppercorns are not the same. They entirely differ in terms of their origin as well as their flavors. 

Szechuan peppercorns differ from the normal black peppercorns in a way that they give a tingling effect to the tongue to enhance the hotness. At first, the flavor on the tongue is bitter, followed by numbing heat and tangy flavors. 

While black peppercorns can be used in all kinds of cuisines, Szechuan peppercorns are mostly popular in Chinese cuisines and are also one of the key ingredients while making the Chinese five-spice blend. 

They are commonly used in Chinese dishes like Ma Po Tofu and Dan Dan Noodles. Szechuan peppercorns are renowned for their numbing sensation which helps spice up any recipe. 

What are the healing properties of black pepper?

Black pepper is not just the king of spices due to its wide culinary uses, but its healing properties play an important role as well. Some of the major healing properties of black pepper are as follows:

Anti diarrheal property

Piperine, which is an alkaloid found in black pepper, has been found to prevent oil-induced fluid release, which is why peppers are also included in traditional antidiarrheal formulas.

Remedy for cough and sore throat

Drinking tea or soup flavored with crushed black pepper might help relieve colds and coughs. It also aids in the relief of chest congestion. Find a black pepper recipe for your cough and sore throat here.

Helps in weight control

Weight loss is aided by the breakdown of extra fat and the improvement of metabolism. It also helps with bloating and the evacuation of intestinal gasses. Swallowing 2 whole peppercorns with a glass of water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning is a healthy habit for weight loss.

Anti-Cancer Property

Black pepper is a rich source of antioxidants as well as vitamins such as Vitamin A, flavonoids, and carotenes, which are important elements for fighting cancer.

Discomfort reliever

Black pepper can help relieve arthritis and joint pain. Its antimicrobial properties prevent bacteria from spreading in the mouth and relieve toothache and gum disease as well.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Is black pepper a spice?”. We have also discussed the taste of black pepper, why it is called the king of spices, and where it comes from. Moreover, we have also answered if black pepper and Szechuan pepper are the same and discuss some of the healing properties of black pepper.

Citations

https://www.seriouseats.com/guide-to-pepper-varieties

https://www.mccormickscienceinstitute.com/resources/culinary-spices/herbs-spices/black-pepper#:~:text=Culinary%20Uses,world%2C%20often%20alongside%20table%20salt.

https://www.heyzindagi.com/blogs/ideas-to-live-better/black-pepper-king-spices

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