Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pepper Lesson From Padma Lakshmi

This afternoon, I chanced upon a show hosted by Padma Lakshmi (host of Top Chef) at Discovery Travel and Living.

Discovery Travel and Living is becoming one of my favorite channels. But watching their shows partly frustrates me. Because by seeing the places they go to and the food they prepare, I realize how many places I want to visit and how much food I have yet to taste. I could just drool with all the good things they “serve” in their shows!

On the other hand, I learn many things from Discovery Travel and Living. Here comes one of them. Thanks, in part, to Padma.

Black pepper was considered black gold early on in India. They are used to purchase goods and, sometimes, to offer to warmly welcomed guests.

The peppers we are familiar with actually come from pepper berries. Green pepper berries are sun-dried to achieve the black pepper we commonly use to season our food.

Meanwhile, white pepper is produced by soaking ripe pepper berries (the berries are red when ripe) in water until the skin loosens. The white seeds that are left are then sun-dried.

Black and white peppers have opposite effects on our tongue. The taste of black pepper lingers more at the tip of our tongue (the lower part) while the flavor of white pepper is perceived more by the back end of our tongue (the part closest to the throat). Thus explaining why white pepper seems to be milder than black pepper in terms of spiciness.

I bet you didn’t know that!

Learn more about peppers here.

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