- This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated November 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm by .
- November 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm #311936
What is the difference between white and black pepper, aside from the color?
Taste…spice or heat level…
- November 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm #434932
I have always wondered myself. I think it is just the color, some dishes you may not want to see the black. I always use black when it calls for white. If there is a differance, I am not missing it ;0)
- November 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm #434947
Black Pepper and White Pepper are differing preparations of the fruit of the Piper Nigrum Plant. Black Pepper is the whole unripened (harvested when green turning to yellow) berry, and White Pepper is the seed of the nearly ripened (harvested when yellow turning to red)berry.
Like all fruit and vegetables, taste and smell differs due to where they are grown, harvest methods and processing methods.
Generally, Black Pepper is hot and pungent with citrusy, woody, and floral notes where as White Pepper can be equally as pungent but with more subtle heat and an earthy, somewhat musty, aroma. (To me the smell is not unlike that of Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, Cumin or Geranium (they all have an earthiness to them); where others have likened it to a barn-yard smell.)
As with all spices, it is preferable to grind your own pepper just before using. Ground pepper loses its flavor quickly. For best flavor put pepper in at the end of the cooking process or when completely cooked.
Before seasoning a dish with white pepper, taste it to make sure it doesn’t exhibit any unpleasantness. (I kinda do this with all spices (sweeteners, also), as you can’t take it out once you put it in.)
It comes down to what you want the dish to taste like — If you want a base note of heat use Black Pepper. If you want to highlight earthiness (Indian, Asian, Mexican cuisine) use White Pepper.
Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia
- November 18, 2012 at 3:44 am #434956
Thanks for such a detailed answer. I have both, but I must admit my white pepper is long past the expiration date.
- November 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm #435073
Thanks for the explanation.
Since I’ve never known the difference between the two, I’ve never bought white pepper. Just have used black pepper whenever white was called for. Guess I need to grab some when I go back to the stores.
- November 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm #435084
It is nice to have both black and white or even mixed peppercorns, but it is not a necessity. I generally use Ground black pepper it is much cheaper to purchase and works well in most applications (just with a different taste). As long as it doesn’t matter to you if you have black flakes in your food. (It doesn’t bother me, but I know a few people that it does.) If I am serving something like mashed potatoes to these people and do not have the white pepper I just leave the pepper out. A shaker of black pepper is always on the table for those that want it. (I think it tastes better if it is mixed in the pot but it will work at the table as well.) Hope this helps. Thanks; Virginia
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