Ever wondered why we seem to sprinkle black pepper over every meal before eating? It may just be tradition, but science has now proved it’s a wise move. Black pepper is good for digestion, stimulates the breakdown of fat, and enhances absorption of nutrients from other foods – so get sprinkling today.
What it is, what it does
Peppercorns are the berries of a vine found climbing trees in tropical rainforests. Before the sixteenth century, when chillies were first brought to Europe from America, pepper was the main spice used for adding pungent heat and bite to dishes.
At high temperatures its flavour quickly dissipates, so it is usually added at the end of cooking, or sprinkled over food at the table.
In the kitchen
Black pepper is essential to France’s steak au poivre and traditional English sausages. You’ll also find it in India’s garam masala spice blend and rasam soup.