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Black, White, Pimienta

Piperaceae Piper nigrum L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Black pepper is the dried, unripe berry fruit of a perennial, tropical, woody vine. It may climb to 20 feet. The leaves are rather thick, broadly ovate-oblong or nearly round, and evergreen. The fruit is a small, globular drupe or berry, red in color. Powdered black pepper is the ground, entire fruit. White pepper is prepared by removing the outer skin of the fruit and grinding. It is less pungent than the black. Pepper is widely used in many forms of cookery. Desire for it was a strong motivation for searching for sea routes to India. Main commercial sources are now southern Asia and tropical Africa.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch