11 January 2012
Flavour of the Week - Peppercorn
Officially the most traded spice in the world, black pepper is actually a kind of flowering vine native to India. Peppercorns as we know them are a fruit produced by the vine. The fruit goes through several stages of maturity beginning pale and white, then green and eventually ending dark red when fully mature.
The most common use for peppercorns is to pick them when they are still unripe and green, then to dry them after which they become the shrivelled black fruit we see on a daily basis.
The "peppery", or spice, comes from a chemical called piperine which is also used in various soft drinks.
Most obviously a pairing with neutral spirit would work well. However if used in a more subtle way the peppercorn can mix very well with gin, or even sharp citrus fruits.
Flavour: spice, earth, hot.