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White pepper is used the same way as the black variety and enhances fresh or cooked foods with a lighter and distinct flavoring.
White pepper is a slightly milder version of the common black pod or grind. They both originate from the same berries, which are called peppercorns.
The plant, pepper nigrum, is propagated in
European cooks particularly favor white pepper for soups and sauces and prefer it as a table condiment.
White pepper can be purchased whole, cracked, or ground. Gourmet shops may carry the Indonesian variety called muntok.
Whole peppercorns are always preferred over ground or cracked.
• Fresh peppercorns can be kept for 1-2 years in a cool, dark spot. Grind as needed.
• Cracked and ground white pepper will retain top quality for about 4-6 months.
• The main reason most cooks use white pepper is to maintain consistent color in light foods. Black specks in a perfectly prepared creamy white sauce are considered distracting.
• White pepper can also be used in marinades or added to pickling spice.
• Black pepper is the best substitute, but the differences between the two in both smell and taste are quite distinctive.