For most people, black pepper causes a known reaction. And why is that? It contains piperine, which irritates nerve endings in the nose, and the body is trying to get rid of it - by sneezing.
On average, black pepper is represented by half of all used spices in restaurants.
Black pepper has the best flavor, if you grind it right before use. It is especially suitable for the preparation of beef, dark sauces and dishes from legumes.
Ground pepper must be kept in a tightly sealed container and protected from light.
Black pepper is a dried unripe seed of a vine originating in South Asia. Most of it grows in Vietnam, Indonesia and India, and the USA is currently in the leading country in import.
There are more than 30 cultivars of pepper and thousands of different varieties.
People have used black pepper in the diet for at least 4000 years, and important merchandise throughout history. The ancient Egyptians also used it in embalming. In ancient Rome and Greece it was quite expensive, but nevertheless often used. In the Middle Ages pepper was even more expensive than silver and was often used as a means of payment.