Black pepper


Valued as a spice for millennia, black pepper originates from the berries of a flowering vine native to India. References to pepper appear in ancient Greek and Roman texts, indicating its early trade across Europe. During the Middle Ages, pepper was a luxury product obtained through Arab traders. By the 17th century, the British East India Company dominated the lucrative pepper trade. Today, black pepper remains an essential ingredient in cuisines across the world.

When dried, peppercorns develop a complex, pungent flavour that balances sweet, spicy and fruity notes. Their chemical compound piperine provides pepper’s signature heat and pungency. This distinct spiciness makes black pepper a ubiquitous table seasoning. It also acts as an aromatic spice and flavour enhancer in dishes like steak au poivre.

Cracked peppercorns release more essential oils and flavours compared to powdered pepper. Pepper's volatile oils dissipate with prolonged cooking, so it is often added at the end to preserve its impact. Its heat highlights flavours in meats, vegetables, soups and sauces without overpowering them.

Black pepper offers nutritional benefits including antioxidants, iron, magnesium and vitamins. The UK has a long history intertwined with the pepper trade. Today black pepper remains indispensable, adding its signature kick to British mainstays like sausages, bacon, roasts and gravies.

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Per 100 g Daily Value
Calories 245 10%
Total fat 3 g 3%
Saturated fat 1 g 4%
Protein 11 g 13%
Sodium 20 mg 0.8%
Potassium 158 mg 5%
Cholesterol 0 0%
Carbohydrates 64 g 19%
Fibre 25 g 83%
Sugar 0.4 g 1%

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