Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Pepper is one of the oldest spices in the world, originally from India, but also grown in many other tropical regions. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine a spice cabinet without it. With its spicy and hot taste, it refines every dish in its own way.

But not all peppers are the same. There are different varieties, all unique for their individual flavours. In the following, we will guide you through the world of the hot-tasting spice to help you find the right pepper for you.




Summary

  • Pepper is used in various cuisines to add a hot and spicy note to dishes. It can be bought in the form of peppercorns or already ground.
  • There are different types of pepper that provide different levels of spiciness and flavour intensity depending on preference.
  • Pepper can also have health effects, especially in the areas of metabolism, digestion and colds.

The Best Pepper: Our Picks

In the next section, we have compiled our favourites for you, which should serve as inspiration and can also be easily ordered right away. You should be able to find something suitable for every need.

Buying and evaluation criteria for pepper

To make it easier for you to choose the most suitable pepper for you, we have listed the most important criteria below and then briefly summarised them.

To make your purchase decision as easy as possible, we will now explain in more detail what to look for in the criteria.

Variety

The right variety of pepper is probably the most important choice you have to make before buying. There are black, white, red and green peppers. In addition, different pepper blends and pepper specialities are offered in the shops.

All varieties have their own typical characteristics. So depending on what you want to cook, one type of pepper is more suitable than another.

Pungency & taste

How do the pepper varieties differ in their pungency and taste? The classic black pepper is known for its intense and pungent flavour, whereas the white variety of pepper is probably the hottest. However, this one has less aroma.

The red pepper is popular for its exotic taste. On the one hand it is hot and on the other hand it has a fruity fresh note and tastes sweetish. Fruity fresh is also described as the green pepper, which is very mild and therefore perfect for all those who prefer a subtle spiciness.

Quality

The quality of the pepper is best recognised by the whole peppercorns. If the pepper is already ground, it is not so easy to see what exactly is in the powder.

In general, however, it can be said that the best way to judge the quality is by the intense colour and smell when the peppercorns are ground.

Form of presentation

Should I buy ground pepper or whole peppercorns? To ensure that the intensity of the aromas is not lost, you should grind the peppercorns just before seasoning. At that moment, essential oils are released that make up the flavour of the pepper.

If the pepper has already been ground, many of these aromas have already been lost. So it is best to buy a pepper mill right away so that you never have to miss the aromatic taste of pepper.

Origin

The origin of the pepper can also play a role in your purchase decision. The origin of pepper is India, but pepper plants are also cultivated in other tropical countries such as Thailand, Indonesia or Brazil.

Many pepper varieties are named after their place of origin. So if you prefer a particular region, look for the names of the speciality peppers.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about pepper answered in detail

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about pepper so that you are well informed before buying a pepper.

Who is pepper suitable for?

Pepper is one of the most used spices in the world and therefore a must-have in every kitchen. Depending on the desired spiciness and intensity, the different types of pepper can be used in any way.

Which pepper is best for which dish?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about pepper, although there are actually no mistakes when combining them. Depending on which pepper is used, the dish takes on its own note.

Nevertheless, there are some tips that you can follow: Black pepper is mainly used with red meat dishes and dark sauces, while white pepper is used more with light meats, light sauces or potato dishes.

Pfeffer

Steaks are mainly seasoned with black pepper. (Image source: Paul Hanaoka/ Unsplash)

Red pepper goes particularly well with fruit salad and short-roasted dishes such as fish or fillet steaks. Green pepper is often used to season sauces, marinades or dressings. It is also suitable for fish, seafood or poultry.

What are the health benefits of pepper?

Pepper can have different health effects on the body. This is mainly due to the ingredient piperine, which boosts the metabolism and has an antibacterial effect.

Pepper is said to help with digestive problems, flatulence or colds, for example. Nevertheless, one should not overdo it with the consumption of pepper.

Conclusion

Pepper is one of the most widely used spices in the world and can be found in almost every kitchen. No matter what dish is being prepared, pepper can add an individual touch to any meal without much effort or high costs.

Depending on your preference, you can use an intense, hot or milder pepper variety. What you ultimately choose is entirely up to your own preferences.

(Cover photo: Anas Alhajj/ Unsplash)

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