Pepper is a common ingredient in savory dishes. Ground black pepper on its own is the most popular, but there are various combinations of black pepper mixed with other spices that add depth and flavor. There are also other kinds of peppers with unique qualities and distinctive flavors that compliment specific types of cuisine.
Black pepper comes from the vine of the pepper plant, and it has a very pungent flavor. The plant produces berries that are dried and ground to make the popular table spice. Pepper can be purchased as whole peppercorns, crushed and ground. The most intense flavor is found as whole peppercorns that are ground with a pepper mill right before use. To use black pepper, add it at the end of cooking, as it can lose flavor with cooking heat. It is a great compliment to steak and venison.
White pepper has a milder flavor than black pepper.The peppercorns are picked at the peak of ripeness, then the outer shell is removed, which leaves a seed. The main use of white pepper is in light colored food, to avoid the specks from black pepper. As with black pepper, the best type is in whole peppercorn form, as it provides the strongest flavor. Both peppers can be used interchangeably in a pinch, but they do have distinct flavors and smells. White pepper is best used in gravies and mashed potatoes.
Cayenne pepper has a spicy flavor, and is made from the long, red cayenne chilies. This pepper is sold in flake or powder form, and shouldn't be confused with chili powder, a different spice made from a combination of seasonings. It is can be used in various cuisines for added spiciness.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Lemon pepper seasoning is a common spice that combines the pungency of black pepper with dried lemon zest. Some spice companies add dried onion and garlic to the seasoning. To use lemon pepper seasoning, add it to breadcrumbs and coat seafood before cooking. It is also a great compliment to eggs.
Onion Pepper Seasoning
Onion pepper seasoning is made from dried onions and black pepper. The combination of these two popular pungent flavors, adds unique flavoring best used in soups, stews and roasts. It is a good substitute in a pinch for fresh onion.
Orange Pepper Seasoning
Orange pepper seasoning is a versatile spice that mixes black pepper with dried orange, dried garlic and a small amount of lemon zest. It is great for roast duck recipes, white meats, eggs and vegetables for a hint of orange flavor.
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