Pagès has chosen to incorporate Black pepper into its creations. This spice with a rich history has been known since ancient times and is distinctive for the very characteristic flavour it gives to hot drinks.
Black pepper, a spice with a pronounced spicy taste, essential to culinary art and with surprising virtues.
Origins of black pepper
The scientific name of Pepper and the names it bears in various languages (French: poivre, Italian: pepe, German: pfeffer, etc.) would all come from the Sanskrit word "pilpali". Its French name has nothing to do with Pierre Poivre, a French traveller, naturalist and administrator who introduced the cultivation of spices in the French colonies of the Indian Ocean.
Black pepper has been known in Europe since Antiquity. It quickly became so important that it served as a currency for centuries.
The quest for Pepper was Vasco da Gama's main motivation for his travels. Mentioned by Theophrastus and Hippocrates, Pepper was used by the Roman people as a condiment and as a medicinal drug.
The Salerno school held it in high esteem in the Middle Ages and found it beneficial for soothing coughs, chasing away fever and, above all, stimulating appetite and digestion.
In the 19th century, Pepper was used as an appetizer recommended for people suffering from anorexia and anaemia because of its feverish, tonic and invigorating properties.
Nowadays, Pepper is mainly used as a condiment, medicine has practically abandoned it.
Characteristics of black pepper
Name: Piper nigrum
Species: Perennial vine
Black Pepper is a perennial creeper native to southwest India. It is grown in most tropical regions of the world, mainly in Southeast Asia, East Africa and South America.
Its long woody stem, which can reach up to 20 metres in length, rises on the surrounding vegetation. It has large acute leaves with arched veins and small petal flowers grouped into long narrow spikes giving spherical berries that are first green and then orange, which turn red as they ripen.
The fruits of Black Pepper contain an aromatic essence rich in terpene carbides such as camphene or limonene. Their hot taste is due to piperidine amides, especially piperine. Black pepper also contains varying amounts of safrole.
Uses of black pepper
Black pepper is an essential ingredient in the culinary arts. It is often associated with salt because many of us season our dishes with only the two ingredients, and almost never one without the other.
Black pepper is more aromatic than White pepper. Green Pepper is less intense and its taste is said to be "fresher". Black pepper and White pepper are used whole to flavour cooking water or vinegar preserves. However, they are also ground or crushed for use as a seasoning for dishes and ready meals.
Black Pepper essential oil is widely used by the food industry and perfumery.
Benefits of black pepper
Although it does not have as many virtues as its neighbours, plants or other ingredients, today we can recognize several benefits to Pepper.
It is said that Black Pepper helps to fight nausea, flatulence, bloating, constipation and even lack of appetite.
It is important to note, however, that Pepper should be consumed sparingly.