Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
The black peppercorn is a spice used in virtually every cuisine in the world. The simple little berry begins on a climbing vine indigenous to Indonesia and India. White and green peppercorns are now common in markets and their color is determined by the stage of ripeness when the berries are picked.
Black peppercorns are picked just before the berry is ripe and shrivel during drying, turning dark brown or black. Drying intensifies their flavor as well as the spiciness of the berry.
Peppercorns begin to lose their flavor the minute they are ground so I feel that a peppermill is essential kitchen equipment. Because recipes call for a measured amount of pepper you have two choices. The first is to guess. The other is to take a few minutes and grind pepper onto a sheet of paper counting the number of turns on your peppermill. Then measure the amount of pepper. My peppermill, for instance, grinds about 1/8 teaspoon for 10 turns of the mill.