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Unlike salt, which can be found or made practically anywhere in the world, black pepper is indigenous only to Gods’ own country, Kerala.
The world’s most commonly used spice, starts life as berries in a clump on a flowering vine (like grapes), called peppercorns. One can find references to pepper in Greek and Roman texts, which suggest an ancient trade between India and the West. As early as 1000 B.C., traders from southern Arabia controlled the spice trade and pepper routes, enjoying a huge monopoly over an increasingly profitable business. To protect their valuable routes, traders created fantasy stories about the hardships endured in order to procure spices. Which Englishman in his sane mind would want to travel around the globe just to be attacked by a dragon guarding a pepper pit?!
Pepper was costly to ship—the Silk Road, the most well-known trade route, stretched over 4,000 miles—but was such a desirable spice that Italian traders could essentially set their own prices.
This led to pepper’s status as a luxury item in medieval Europe. Even today, the Dutch phrase “pepper expensive” refers to an item of prohibitive cost.
We enlighten you why this ‘luxury’ spice deserves a special place in your kitchen.
One of the most well known anti ageing spices, the peppercorn should be a part of the daily diet and can be used whole or in the powdered form.
A very good spice for boosting one’s immunity
It has therapeutic usage and can be added to black tea to help cure sore throat, cold and cough and chest congestion.
Taste-booster and visually appealing
The peppercorn enhances the taste of recipes of Indian and European cuisine. Black corns of pepper add colour to the dish and make it visually appealing.
The most versatile ‘masala’, it is an essential part of Indian cuisine like curries, Mughal recipes like kebabs, biryani and Italian soups and salads.
The irreplaceable seasoning spice
It is an essential ingredient as far as seasoning is concerned whether it be Indian or western cooking.
There are no more dragons guarding the peppercorns so go ahead and use it generously in your diet!
Source – History of Pepper, www.History.com