Peppercorns are the fruit of the peppercorn vine, which originated in Kerala, a province in southwest India on the Malabar Coast. Peppercorns are grown primarily in Asian regions. They are also cultivated in other parts of the world, such as Brazil and Ecuador.
Tellicherry and Malabar peppercorns come from India, and Sarawak peppercorns come from Malaysia. Vietnam and Indonesia also produce varieties of peppercorns. In Latin, the name of the peppercorn vine is piper nigrum; but, the common name is black pepper.
The different colors of peppercorns are the result of the time of harvest and the type of processing after harvest. Black peppercorns are produced from unripe peppercorn fruit, or drupes. After harvest, they are cooked and placed in the sun or a machine to dry for several days, until they darken. White peppercorns come from ripe drupes, which are soaked in water until the red, outer hull decomposes, revealing the seed. Green peppercorns are unripe drupes that are harvested, then dried in a way that retains the green color.Learn More
Saffron comes from a species of crocus plant known as crocus sativus. The plant is native to Greece and the Middle East. The Greeks were the first to recognize the plant's potential as a spice.Full Answer >
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The curry powder sold in supermarkets is similar to garam masala that comes from India and contains a mixture of ground spices. Traditional Indian dishes do not contain curry powder as Westerners know it; cooks use a variety of blends and ratios of ingredients that differ from one region and one family to the next. In addition, the recipe changes according to the type of dish.Full Answer >
Vanilla comes from the bean of a specific type of orchid. Of the 35,000 orchid species native to the rainforests of Central and South America, only the fruit of the vanilla orchid, whose scientific name is Vanilla planifolia, is actually edible.Full Answer >