This idea was first proposed several years ago by a good friend of mine. He said that he wanted to spend some time learning the difference between the different types of pepper (black, green, white and pink). I have no idea if he ever followed through on this idea, but I found myself in Penzeys spice store, and decided to try his experiment. I picked up three types of pepper, green, pink and white. They sat in my cabinet for a long time, until I finally was able to obtain three clear peppermills (need to be able to tell them apart!). I will experiment with these through the year, but here's some quick info on the three.
- Green Peppercorns - According to the back of the jar, these are harvested from the same vines as the black peppercorns, but they are harvested before the pepper has fully matured. The flavor of these is very fresh and clean, and very similar to black peppercorns, but milder. Green peppercorns are perfect for poultry, vegetables, fish and seafood.
- Pink Peppercorns - (Reunion Pink) The back of the jar doesn't say much about pink peppercorns, but does note that they are not a true peppercorn, but were named that because of their size and flavor. They have an oily shell, and are actually a bit soft in the middle. They have a sweet flavor, with a little bit of kick, but not a whole lot. They are called for in recipes from chicken to salad to seafood.
- White Peppercorns - (Sarawak White) White peppercorns start out the same as black peppercorns, but then are allowed to ripen more fully on the vine. The black outer shell is then removed. The Sarawak peppercorns are held under a constantly flowing stream of Artesian spring water, yielding a whiter color, and an extra clean product. They have a rich, winey, hot flavor. They have a longer afterburn than the pink or green peppercorns. They work well in soup or on grilled meats, and are preferred in Southeast Asian, Southern and Eastern European cuisine.