Do you know which is the third most added ingredient to recipes? Yes it is 'The King of Spices - Pepper' with water and salt leading the race. Do you believe that it was once so valuable that it was used as currency?
Looking back to the history of peppercorns...
Peppercorns are the seed berries of the Piper nigrum (piper being Latin for plant, and nigrum meaning black) vine, originating on the Malabar coast of India. Peppercorns are not only the oldest used spice, but also the most widely-used. Today, pepper, known as the King of Spices and the Master Spice, still accounts for one-fourth of the world's spice trade.
Some medicinal and household uses of pepper include...
Although always prized as a flavor-enhancing spice, the peppercorn first gained fame for medicinal purposes as a digestive stimulant and expectorant. Its hot and pungent flavor causes the membranes inside the nose and throat to exude a lubricating secretion, helpful to those in respiratory distress as an aid to cough up offending phlegm and mucus. Pepper was also used in an external ointment to relieve skin afflictions and hives. Black pepper is also an effective deterrant to insects. A solution of one-half teaspoon freshly ground pepper to one quart of warm water sprayed on plants can be toxic to ants, potato bugs, silverfish, and even roaches and moths. A sprinkling of ground pepper will also deter insect paths in non-garden areas.
Tips for storage of Pepper..
Store whole peppercorns in a sealed container in a cool, dry place up to one year. Ground pepper begins to lose flavor after about four months, so if you do not use a lot of pepper, avoid those huge cans. Brined peppercorns need to be refrigerated after opening and used within a month.
Water-packed peppercorns have the shortest shelf life after opening they should refrigerated and used within one week.
Did you know that peppercorns come in black, white, green, red and pink in color? For more info read this..
You must be wondering why I am raving about this Master Spice Pepper.
Here are some guidelines..
Post any dish featuring pepper as the main spice. Pepper can be used in any form (finely powdered, freshly ground or whole) and any variety of pepper can be used. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian posts are welcome. Multiple entries and old entries are accepted unless you add a link to this page. Uses and other Information about pepper can also be included in the post.
Post it on your blog anytime between March 1st and March 31st and please link back to this announcement and also to Sunita's Think Spice post.Feel free to use the logo.
Email me your entry with your name, picture of any size, recipe name and permalink to the recipe to divyablogs(at)gmail(dot)com . if you do not own a blog, send me your name, recipe, and picture. I will include it in the roundup.
Now get your peppergrinders ready and start cooking!!