On peppercorns, at the end of the day, it comes down to desired look and taste....
Black, white and green peppercorns all come from the Piper nigrum plant that is native to southwest India but are also grown in China, Indonesia and Brasil.
Pepper is a fruit. There are basically 4 kinds of these fruit, the finest of which hail from India's Malabar Coast. Tellicherry are considered the best of the Malabars.
Black peppercorns result when the berries of the pepper plant are harvested just before they are ripe and then dried in the sun until the outer skin turns black. Black pepper is less hot than white, but more pungent and aromatic.
White peppercorns are the hard kernel taken from ripe berries by removing the bright red outer skin and fruit. White pepper lacks the sharp pungency of black pepper but has more heat. It is often preferred in light colored sauces and seafood dishes because it does not stand out against the food as black pepper does. Ground white peppercorns go especially well in sauces, on light colored meats such as fish, with eggs, and in mashed potatoes.
Green peppercorns are produced from soft, unripe berries and sold both dried and in brine. Green peppercorns are common in Thai cuisine and complement both duck and game. Try grinding green peppercorns in butter and brushing on meat while grilling. These peppercorns go especially well with very fresh or fruity tasting foods.
Dehydrated green peppercorns are easy substituted for peppercorns in brine by re-hydrating them in liquid one hour prior to use. Warm water works well, but wine or broth would be more interesting.
Pink peppercorns are not true peppercorns but actually the dried berries from the Baies rose plant. Pink peppercorns are pungent and slightly sweet. Whole pink peppercorns are odorless and it is only grinding that releases their delicate peppery flavor. Seen most often in peppercorn blends, pink peppercorns are also delicious in light sauces and on delicate fish dishes. Pink peppercorns go especially well in fruit sauces, vinaigrettes, and desserts. These peppercorns have a rich rose color that adds a elegant appearance to any cuisine.
On mint, again flavor?:
The true mints belong to the genus Mentha. The most important species is peppermint. The leaves and tops are sometimes dried and utilized for flavoring and in medicine but are chiefly in demand for the oil, distilled out for use as a carminative and stimulant, for its derivative menthol (obtained also from other mints), and for flavoring purposes, especially in chewing gum and candy and as a disguise for disagreeable tastes of drugs.
Spearmint is distinguishable from peppermint by the absence of a leafstalk. Its flavor is milder.
However, important members of the mint family include: Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Summer and Winter savory and Thyme :lips:
This lady's name is 'Dude' !
This lady's name is 'Dude' !