Black pepper is a perennial climbing vine of the Piperaceae family. Black pepper is one of the spices used for seasoning in the whole world. It originates from the Malabar Coast of India.
do you have an idea how the black pepper plant looks like? let us create a visual description next.
THE BLACK PEPPER PLANT
A black pepper plant is woody in nature and is a climbing plant. It can grow up to 33 feet in height. It has broad and shiny green leaves which are alternately arranged on the climbing stems. It produces fruits from small flowers which are dense slender spikes of about 50 blossoms each. The black pepper fruits are drupes of a 5 mm diameter. The green fruits become yellowish red at maturity and bear a single seed inside each of them.
The plant grows well with a long rainy season, fairly high temperatures, and partial shade for best growth. Planting is done by stem cutting that a set near a tree or pole for support. They take 2 to 5 years to produce fruit and can do so for as long as 40 years.
THE BLACK PEPPER SEEDS
Harvesting of the fruits is usually done as they begin to turn red. The fruits are dried under the sun until they become black. Alternatively, the fruits are immersed in boiling water for about 10 minutes to turn them dark brown or black. They are then spread out to dry in the sun for about three or four days. Whole black peppers yield black pepper powder when ground, shelled ground black peppers will give us ground white pepper. Shelling the hard black pepper is done by first softening the outer layer. This can be done by soaking the black pepper in water first.
The dry black pepper seed is known as a black peppercorn when dry
below are the health benefits that one aquires from consuming black pepper
Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper is regarded as the king of flavours; here are some of its health benefits
1. High in antioxidants; Black pepper is rich in a plant compound called piperine, which is potent with antioxidants that help to prevent free radical damage to the body cells.
2. anti -inflammatory properties; the piperine found in the black pepper effectively fight against body inflammation in animals and is yet to prove in human beings.
3. It is beneficial to your brain; a study on rodents shows that black helps improve the conditions of animals with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
4. Lowers cholesterol levels; a study conducted on rodents shows that black pepper helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood system
5. Aids digestion and intestinal health by stimulating hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This helps to absorb and digest foods better. It also helps to reduce stomach gas and bloating.
TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN COOKING WITH BLACK PEPPER
- Consider grounding your own fresh black pepper, it will give you a better flavor than over stored black pepper
- Consider the color of your food before selecting the pepper to use. Light foods like Irish and cabbages may work better with white pepper instead of black.
- Finely ground pepper will most often irritate your throat causing you to cough or sneeze, to avoid this reaction to black pepper consider grounding your own peppercorns to a coarse consistency.