Piper nigrum is a plant native to India grown in Asia, America and Africa. It belongs to the piperáceas family. It is a climbing plant that adheres to other trees, lattices or any structure that allows it. Its stem is thick, round and knotty with a light green color. Its leaf has a dark green oval shape. Its flowers appear in clusters and can measure from 4 to 8 cm and when the fruits appear and depending on the stage of maturation, these clusters can lengthen. The fruit of this plant is called drupe and this becomes the pepper grain we commonly call pepper.
Types of pepper:
The types of peppers we know depend on the maturation process of the plant, so we have black pepper, green pepper, red pepper and white pepper.
Black pepper: is perhaps the most known and used in our preparations. This is collected before the ripening process. These are boiled a short time to make it go dark. Next, it is placed in the sun, becomes rough and acquires its characteristic color. Its flavor is intense, although it can lose its intensity when it is milled. This is usually used in stews, stews, sauces.
Green pepper: green are collected. They have a flavor and aroma, so to speak, fresh. Less spicy than black pepper. This type of pepper can be found in dehydrated or preserved in brines. When they are dry, they are ground or simply crushed a little. These do not have an intense spicy flavor, they can be whole foods. This type of pepper can be used to season fish and chickens.
White pepper: these are picked ripe. They are put in water until they release the outer skin and a white grain remains. Its flavor is more spicy than black, although its aroma is less intense. It is ideal for preparations where it is required to change its flavor, as in béchamel sauce.
Red pepper: it is the berry in the process of complete maturation. In this stage the drupe takes a red color. This is characterized by having a more intense aroma and flavor than that of green.
In short, each of the varieties of pepper offers us a different culinary experience and, sometimes, due to ignorance we deprive ourselves of it. For this reason, if you like cooking or simply want to know more about the spices you use when preparing your meals, there is no need to investigate them.