I came across this insightful article touching on an otherwise ordinary yet necessary item in most kitchens….Pepper. The article link below is just a snippet of the book titled Pepper- A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice, by Marjorie Shaffer, delving into a significant history maker. Who would have thought? A spice? Ranging from once being currency valued more than gold, to the current-day ordinary spice in your cupboard, and one I would consider a second-fiddle only to salt.
To give a bit of background fact, there are over 1900 accepted species of pepper. Though far fewer species are used in the food world as traditionally applied. Think about that for a second. How many kinds do you have in your home? Maybe a handful? If that? The most commonly traded and known kind is black pepper, and the one which most of us use. It is native to South Asia, but its most important source has been from India. It’s use dates back to at least 2 BCE.
So this is exactly the kind of history or story behind the ingredient I enjoy learning more about. Such a simple ingredient can bring about intrigue and curiosity. In an island of misfit ingredients, otherwise known as my spice cabinet, I wonder why pepper? Then again, why not? If it is in just about every household, it is there for a reason. It definitely makes me think twice before I turn the handle on the pepper mill next time I go to use it. This book is definitely on my to read list, and I hope to have peaked a bit of your interest as well!
Here is the link to that article: