Difference between white and black ground pepper
White ground pepper vs black ground pepper:
The world of gastronomy is full of herbs, spices and other condiments which when added to the appropriate dishes, set the taste buds trembling in delight. Out of this, pepper belongs to the spice category which adds flavor and sting to the dishes, also adding a well needed bite to food. However, ground pepper can be seen in two versions as black and white pepper and apart from their obvious difference of colors, this article seeks to find out the other not so obvious factors which set them apart.
About white ground pepper
White ground pepper is produced from the seed of the flowering vine of the Piperaceae family and it is used as a flavoring and a seasoning in various food items. White pepper is obtained by plucking the pepper berries when they are fully ripe which are then soaked in water for about a week during which the skin around the seed decomposes and sheds itself. This process of removing the outer casing of the seed is referred to as retting. After rubbing the seeds together, what is left of the flesh is then removed and the seed is dried and ground to a powder. Sometimes, the removing of the outer layer of the seed is done through chemical and biological methods as well. White ground pepper is commonly used in light colored dishes such as Chinese cooking or in dishes like salads, light-colored sauces or mashed potatoes.
About black ground pepper
Black pepper is obtained from the still unripe pepper drupes which are plucked when they are still green. They are then boiled in hot water for cleaning and drying purposes where the heat raptures the walls of the seed, speeding the work of the browning enzymes which takes place during drying. These seeds are then either sun or machine dried, during which the flesh around the seed shrinks and settles in wrinkled black folds among the seed. The seeds are then powdered in order to obtain ground black pepper which is used for cooking various dishes.
What is the difference between black ground pepper and white ground pepper?
The primary difference between the two lies in their colors. The white pepper, true to its name is white in color whereas the black pepper is black in color. White pepper is used in light colored dishes where the usage of black pepper would be all too visible, giving a sort of a blackish tinge to the dish.
Both black and white pepper are obtained from the same flowering vine of Piperaceae family and yet, it is the time of which the berries are picked that determines the color of the pepper. In order to obtain white pepper, the pepper berries must be plucked when they are very ripe when the skin is either red or yellow. In order to prepare black pepper, unripe pepper drupes which are still green in color must be plucked.
The method in which these two pepper types are prepared differ a great deal as well. The white pepper berry once plucked is put through a process called retting where the pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week until the skin around it deteriorates. Thereby, in producing white pepper, the skin and the flesh of the pepper is completely removed. However in preparing black pepper, the pepper drupes are boiled in hot water briefly and then dried in the sun so that the skin and the flesh may shrink and fold around the seed in black folds. Thus, in producing black pepper, the skin is left on the seed itself.
Due to the presence of the skin and flesh of the pepper berry, the black pepper is said to be much stronger in flavor and aroma than the white pepper. Also because of the above reason, the black pepper is known to contain more essential oils and spirits which are used widely for medicinal and beauty products. White and black peppers are both known to contain medicinal properties. Both are used as treatment for conditions such as stomach upset, pain, scabies and etc. However, while black pepper is commonly used for the treatment of bronchitis, white pepper is used as a cure for malaria and cholera.
The two kinds of peppers differ in their prices as well. White ground pepper is notably much more expensive than black ground pepper. However, while white ground paper is popular in the East Asian community, black ground pepper reigns the south east Asian markets.