What does pepper do to food?
Pepper helps to clarify the flavours on the tongue. When you add it to dishes, it doesn’t just season, it also adds flavour and increases the tastiness of the food.
Freezing pepper makes the flavour more pronounced. And if you cook it for too long, it loses its aroma – so adding pepper at the end of cooking helps preserve its flavour, and gives it more impact in a dish.
Types of Pepper
The dried fruits of the pepper plant, and one of the most distinctive spices
Black peppercorns without husks; good for white sauces and mashed potato, as you don’t see them like black pepper
The dried fruit of a flowering vine, native to Indonesia; loved by the Romans to flavour their food, and now used in Asian, North African and Indian dishes
unripe berries from the same plant as black peppercorns; with distinctive aromas, they’re less versatile than black peppercorns, and best with meats such as steak
not really peppercorns, but the dried berries of a shrub known as the Peruvian peppertree; adding a fruity, floral note with a little heat, they’re good with seafood and in light sauces
also not really pepper, but the dried rinds of the berries of a type of ash tree; lemony as well as peppery, they work well in fried spice dishes.
What type of pepper should I use?
There is no substitute for the fragrance of freshly ground pepper. Pre-ground pepper, in our opinion, will never release the same intensity of flavour. Our Gourmet Precision Mills will allow you to get an extremely fine grind without compromising the aroma or taste. This will suit a variety of dishes from coarse in a marinade for steak or fine to top a pizza.
Different foods respond differently to pepper. It adds bitter notes, which work better with some flavours and textures than others. For example, a steak can take a great deal more pepper than a salad.
Pepper is also highly versatile – which is why it’s kept on the table more than other spices, such as cumin or mustard seeds. As well as being an essential cooking ingredient, it brightens up the flavours of food after it’s cooked. That’s why we sprinkle it over pizzas and pasta, and why in restaurants we’re often asked if we’d like to add pepper to our meal.