One of the earliest known spices, pepper is a climbing vine native to the Malabar coast of India. Highly regarded as a condiment, it is widely cultivated in many tropical countries today. But did you know it was once grown in Singapore before the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles as an article of trade?
The fruits, sometimes called peppercorns, are picked when they start to turn red. They are then submerged in boiling water for about 10 minutes, which causes them to turn dark brown or black in an hour. Following which, they are spread out and left to dry in the sun for three or four days. The whole peppercorns, when ground, yield black pepper.
Fragrant and subtle, pepper is used in kitchens worldwide. To get the very best flavour and aroma of pepper, grind it just before consuming it. While it is usually added to savoury dishes, it has also been introduced in desserts as a means of bringing out other flavours. Try this chocolatey recipe, elevated to something special with a pinch of salt and pepper!
Serves 6 people
Written by: Debbie Chen, Assistant Director (Education, Programming)
Debbie is an ardent reader who often finds herself nose-deep in a dystopian novel. She has been involved in education since graduating from university, and enjoys bringing information to people in an engaging way that helps them see things in a new light.