Black pepper known as “king of spices” is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae that is cultivated for its fruit, known as a peppercorn. Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupe of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes are dried in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper skin around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dry, the spice is called black peppercorn. Black pepper is native to present-day Kerala in South India and is extensively cultivated there.
It’s better to buy whole pepper seeds and then form a powder out of it rather than buying powdered black pepper as it ensures good quality. Look for peppercorns that are compact, round, heavy, and whole.
Black pepper is found to cause stomach burns when taken in large quantities. Patients who have undergone abdominal surgery should not add excessive pepper to their diet because it can have an irritating effect on the intestines. It may cause some irritation to pregnant women, and might even cause some allergies to breast feeding mothers. (3)
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