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Cracking v Grinding Pepper

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Some recipes call for cracking pepper, others call for grinding. Why choose one method over the other?

Shel
post #2 of 14
Same thing really, more of a linguistic preference than a specific difference in product.

That said, I think that cracked pepper connotes a coarser grind than ground pepper, but it's mostly up to the individual cook to determine any differences if any really exist.

phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 14
I've always thought of cracked pepper as a very coarse grind. Something I'd use for steak au poive (sp?) or some such. It's so coarse you have to do it by hand, cuz an electric grinder cuts it down too fast.

After that we get into the arbitrarily defined grinds: coarse, medium, fine, extra fine, flour.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's been my understanding as well.

Shel
post #5 of 14
Speaking of cracked pepper, I was just leafing through a recent CI and they had an info box with the question

"What is the best brand of cracked pepper?"

Their blunt response... "There isn't one."

They said that the volatile oils and aromatics dissipate so quickly after the peppercorn is cracked that you should never buy it that way. They said that, almost immediately, all you get from packaged cracked pepper is the hot taste- nothing of the subleties of the spice.

Not that I'm accusing anybody here of using pre-cracked pepper... :roll:

Me, I put my Penzey's Tellicherry Extra Bold :cool: peppercorns in a plastic bag and pound it with a small skillet. Relieves a lot of frustrations, too...

Mike

do you suppose I'm becoming a pepper snob? :eek:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
If you were a real pepper snob, you'd be hanging out
here:
Pepper-Passion Inc.

and using Talamanca del Caribe pepper. Tellicherry! <LOL> Have you no taste man!?

Just kidding - I'm about to order the same Tellicherry you're using.

Shel
post #7 of 14
[QUOTE=shel;173328]If you were a real pepper snob, you'd be hanging out
here:Pepper-Passion Inc.

and using Talamanca del Caribe pepper. Tellicherry <LOL

Ha!

Shel,

I think I love you!

-Al
post #8 of 14
Shel, to me, the difference is in how you work the peppercorns.

For 'cracked', I use an old mortar and pestle, for ground, I use a peper mill.

One difference is when I 'crack' the peppercorns, you get a much more intense flavor than when using the pepper mill. I use 'cracked' when I make a rub with pepper, brown sugar and garlic to pack on top of a pork loin. I use ground pepper from a mill for a salad.
post #9 of 14
If you were a real pepper snob, you'd be hanging out here:
Pepper-Passion Inc.
and using Talamanca del Caribe pepper.


Dang... just when I thought I was cultivating a superior status, you pull the rug out from under me.

Never heard of P-P Inc. <sob> Let alone TdC pepper!

Mike :mad: :roll:
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #10 of 14
Spam attempt
post #11 of 14

Cracked Pepper

For some reason I really like the taste, arome and mouth feel of coarse ground pepper corns. I would suggest buying a pepper grinder that has different settings ( I just Purchased one) its great for all recipes.
Robert Forti A.K.A. GourmetAmor
Gourmet and Compay

"Good Food And Good Wine never tastes as good without good Friends And Family" Visit my myspace page. www.myspace.com/gourmetandcoDont forget to add me as a friend.
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Robert Forti A.K.A. GourmetAmor
Gourmet and Compay

"Good Food And Good Wine never tastes as good without good Friends And Family" Visit my myspace page. www.myspace.com/gourmetandcoDont forget to add me as a friend.
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post #12 of 14
I tried to post some relevant information that readers might find useful yesterday but my repsonse was labeled as spam without giving me any clue as to what in my message was objectionable.

If any of you are readers of Gourmet Magazine, you igh want to take a look at what they had to say about Talamanca Del Caribe. Take a look at the May, 2007 issue on page 148.

Bruce Morgan
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Bruce,

Since I started this thread, and was the one to mention your site and the Talamanca, perhaps you can drop me a private email and I'll be happy to post the information on your behalf.

There's some new rule here that prohibits the posting of links until a member has posted a certain number of messages - 15 I believe.

Shel
post #14 of 14
I worked in industrial spices for a little while and cracked, butcher cut and quarter cut pepper was terminology used for surface meat rubs.

Ground pepper was attributed with a mesh size (i.e. 60 mesh which means 60 holds per linear inch). This way ground spices can be precisely uniform.

Typically ground pepper in small pouches found in fast foods (only as a reference) is 32 mesh.

An old European butcher told me once that crack pepper was made by smashing peppercorns using the flat of a cleaver. (Nice image at least).

Luc
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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