In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Which spice is called the king of spices?”. We will also discuss where black pepper comes from, what it tastes like, and how it is used in cooking. Moreover, we will also talk about the healing properties of black pepper.
Which spice is called the king of spices?
Black pepper is known as the king of spices. Its strong flavors and aroma and numerous uses in the culinary and medicinal world have also helped it get that title.
It is undeniably one of the most popular spices in the world and its ability to go well with anything is what makes it worthy of the title. Black pepper is a versatile spice that goes well with not just the other ingredients, but also the other spices it is paired with.
Where does black pepper come from?
Black pepper is derived from the tiny black berries known as black peppercorns that 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, called “pippali”. The Greek word “peperi” and the Latin word “piper” were both influenced by the Sanskrit name.
Peppercorns can be black, white, green, or red depending on the time of harvest and processing. Black peppers are different from white pepper both in terms of flavors and how they are manufactured.
Black peppercorn is the most commonly used peppercorn that is harvested to manufacture black pepper. These peppercorn berries are plucked while they are still green, unlike the white ones. They are then fermented and sun-dried until they shrink and turn a brownish-black color, to finally form the end product; black pepper.
What does black pepper taste like?
Black pepper has hot, pungent, earthy, and woody flavors with a touch of bitter notes.
It has to be noted that whole or crushed black peppercorns are far more flavorful than their ground counterpart. Also, black pepper has more powerful flavors than white pepper.
Black pepper contains a chemical compound called piperine, which makes the flavors of black peppercorn a lot stronger than its other varieties. Its distinct flavors pair well with most savory dishes as well as some sweet dishes, which is what sets it apart from other spices that are used regularly.
How is black pepper used in cooking?
Black pepper is an amazingly versatile spice that you can basically use with anything that requires salt. Both whole peppercorns and ground pepper can be utilized in cooking but ground black pepper is clearly the winner when it comes to culinary uses, the undisputed king of spices. Some of the common uses of black pepper are:
- It can be added to your soups, stocks, sauces, marinades, and stews which require peppery flavors as well as texture.
- Add it to your scrambled eggs, stir-fried vegetables, chickens, steaks, sausages, pasta, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, etc.
- Black pepper is a primary ingredient in different types of sauces be it flavor dips, salsa, tangy coriander dips, or creamy ones.
- You can also rub onto meats, poultry, and season seafood before roasting or cooking them.
What are the healing properties of black pepper?
- Black pepper provides anti-diarrheal effects, so they are often added to traditional antidiarrheal formulations.
- Black pepper can be an effective remedy for sore throats and cough. Drinking tea or water flavored with crushed black pepper is said to cure sore throats. It also helps to relieve chest congestion. Find the recipe for black pepper tea here.
- Black pepper also helps in weight loss by breaking down extra fat and improving the body’s metabolism. It also promotes the elimination of intestinal gases and the reduction of bloating.
- Black pepper is high on antioxidants, Vitamin A, flavonoids, and carotenoids which can help you to fight against cancer cells.
- Black pepper works as a pain reliever by helping to prevent arthritis and joint pain. It also relieves toothache and its antimicrobial properties prevent bacteria from spreading in the mouth preventing gum diseases.
- It can also be used as an exfoliant, preventing skin dryness, and leaving your skin healthy and glowing.
In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Which spice is called the king of spices?”. We have also discussed where black pepper comes from, what it tastes like, and how it is used in cooking. Moreover, we have also talked about the healing properties of black pepper.