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Pepper what?

Facts about Pepper

Confused about pepper? Here are a few basic facts:

 

True pepper is actually a berry    (not be confused with paprika, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, red pepper and bell pepper). Pepper is grown in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil. Pepper has been an important spice since Roman times, and was one of the earliest commodities traded Asia and Europe.

 

Ripeness and processing determine the color: Whether a peppercorn is black, white or green depends upon its ripeness when harvested and the way in which it was processed; these methods also affect taste and fragrance.


Black pepper has a sharp, pungent aroma and flavor while white pepper is hotter, less subtle and mildly fermented. Pepper is found next to salt on most every table and is used to flavor all types of dishes in cuisines worldwide.

 "White pepper"
actually comes from the same plant species as black peppercorns, but the peppercorns have been allowed to fully ripen before having the black outer husks removed.
 "Green peppercorns"
are picked when under ripe, steam cooked, and air-dried to preserve the green color.

"Pink Peppercorns"
are not true "peppercorns", but similar tasting berries often called Peruvian pepper, Baies Rose Plant, or Peppertree (Schinus molle, that is native to South America). 

 

Known as the "king of spices" because it is one of the oldest and most popular spices in the world.

 

It is possible that black pepper was known in China in the 2nd century BCE, if poetic reports regarding an explorer named Tang Meng are correct. Sent by Emperor Wu to what is now south-west China, Tang Meng is said to have come across something called jujiang or "sauce-betel". He was told it came from the markets of Shu, an area in what is now the Sichuan province. The traditional view among historians is that "sauce-betel" is a sauce made from betel leaves, but arguments have been made that it actually refers to pepper, either long or black.

 

In the 3rd century CE, black pepper made its first definite appearance in Chinese texts, as hujiao or "foreign pepper". It does not appear to have been widely known at the time, failing to appear in a 4th-century work describing a wide variety of spices from beyond China's southern border, including long pepper. By the 12th century, however, black pepper had become a popular ingredient in the cuisine of the wealthy and powerful, sometimes taking the place of China's native Sichuan pepper (the tongue-numbing dried fruit of an unrelated plant).

 

Marco Polo testifies to pepper's popularity in 13th-century China when he relates what he is told of its consumption in the city of Kinsay (Zhejiang): "... Messer Marco heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs." Marco Polo is not considered a very reliable source regarding China, and this second-hand data may be even more suspect, but if this estimated 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) a day for one city is anywhere near the truth, China's pepper imports may have dwarfed Europe's.

 

Pepper was so valuable that in ancient Greece and Rome it was used as currency.

 

It is believed that when the Goths defeated Rome in 410, they demanded a ransom of 3,000 pounds of pepper, along with other valuables such as silk.  

 

During the middle ages, peppercorns were accepted in lieu of money for dowries, rent and taxes.

 

During the 19th century, Salem, Massachusetts played an important role in the world pepper trade and made some of America's first millionaires.

 

Even today, many poor families in Asia often keep stashes of this prized spice as a type of savings for a rainy day.

 

Peppercorns are the most widely traded spice in the world with Americans eating an average of over 1/4lb. per person per year.

 

Why does pepper make you sneeze?

Because the chemical piperine (the familiar spicy flavor), an irritant, gets into the nose.

A sneeze is a reflex that is triggered when nerve endings inside the mucous membrane of the nose are stimulated.

Pepper, be it white, black, or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing."

 

Did you know ...

Sneezing is called sternutation.

When you sneeze air rushes out your nose at a rate of 100 miles per hour!

There are an estimated 5 million scent receptors in the human nose.

Our noses produce an estimated one to two pints of mucus a day.

The History of Pepper

Known as the "king of spices" because it is one of the oldest and most popular spices in the world.

It is possible that black pepper was known in China in the 2nd century BCE, if poetic reports regarding an explorer named Tang Meng are correct. Sent by Emperor Wu to what is now south-west China, Tang Meng is said to have come across something called jujiang or "sauce-betel". He was told it came from the markets of Shu, an area in what is now the Sichuan province. The traditional view among historians is that "sauce-betel" is a sauce made from betel leaves, but arguments have been made that it actually refers to pepper, either long or black.

In the 3rd century CE, black pepper made its first definite appearance in Chinese texts, as hujiao or "foreign pepper". It does not appear to have been widely known at the time, failing to appear in a 4th-century work describing a wide variety of spices from beyond China's southern border, including long pepper. By the 12th century, however, black pepper had become a popular ingredient in the cuisine of the wealthy and powerful, sometimes taking the place of China's native Sichuan pepper (the tongue-numbing dried fruit of an unrelated plant).

Marco Polo testifies to pepper's popularity in 13th-century China when he relates what he is told of its consumption in the city of Kinsay (Zhejiang): "... Messer Marco heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs." Marco Polo is not considered a very reliable source regarding China, and this second-hand data may be even more suspect, but if this estimated 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) a day for one city is anywhere near the truth, China's pepper imports may have dwarfed Europe's.

Pepper was so valuable that in ancient Greece and Rome it was used as currency.

It is believed that when the Goths defeated Rome in 410, they demanded a ransom of 3,000 pounds of pepper, along with other valuables such as silk.
During the middle ages, peppercorns were accepted in lieu of money for dowries, rent and taxes.

During the 19th century, Salem, Massachusetts played an important role in the world pepper trade and made some of America's first millionaires.

Even today, many poor families in Asia often keep stashes of this prized spice as a type of savings for a rainy day.

True pepper is actually a berry (not be confused with paprika, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, red pepper and bell pepper). Pepper is grown in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil. Pepper has been an important spice since Roman times, and was one of the earliest commodities traded Asia and Europe.

In fact, during the Middle Ages, Europeans often used pepper to pay debts and taxes. Black pepper has a sharp, pungent aroma and flavor while white pepper is hotter, less subtle and mildly fermented. Pepper is found next to salt on most every table and is used to flavor all types of dishes in cuisines worldwide.

Peppercorns are the most widely traded spice in the world with Americans eating an average of over 1/4lb. per person per year.



Why does pepper make you sneeze?
Because the chemical piperine (the familiar spicy flavor), an irritant, gets into the nose.
A sneeze is a reflex that is triggered when nerve endings inside the mucous membrane of the nose are stimulated.
Pepper, be it white, black, or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing."

Did you know ...
Sneezing is called sternutation.
When you sneeze air rushes out your nose at a rate of 100 miles per hour!
There are an estimated 5 million scent receptors in the human nose.
Our noses produce an estimated one to two pints of mucus a day.

 

 

A Peppercorn Glossary
Confused about pepper? Here are a few basic facts:
One Vine, Three Peppercorns: Black, white and green peppercorns are the fruit of the piper nigrum vine, which flourishes in the tropical heat and drenching monsoons of the world's equatorial regions. In India alone, there are over 75 piper nigrum cultivars.

Top Peppercorns Named for Point of Origin: As with wine, local terroir-the soil, its mineral composition, the amount of sunshine and rainfall-contributes dramatically to the flavor and aroma of the peppercorn. Top-ranked peppercorns are named after the regions in which they are grown or the ports from which they are shipped.

Ripeness, Processing Determine Color: Whether a peppercorn is black, white or green depends upon its ripeness when harvested and the way in which it was processed; these methods also affect taste and fragrance.

Some "Peppercorns" Are Imposters: There are a few peppery-tasting spices that are not true peppercorns. Among them are false "pink peppercorns," Sichuan peppercorns and grains of paradise.

White pepper actually comes from the same plant species as black peppercorns, but the peppercorns have been allowed to fully ripen before having the black outer husks removed.

Green peppercorns are picked when under ripe, steam cooked, and air-dried to preserve the green color.

Pink Peppercorn Plant:
These are not true "peppercorns", but similar tasting berries often called Pink Peppercorns, Peruvian pepper, Baies Rose Plant, or Peppertree (Schinus molle) that is native to South America.

The Baies Rose plant is a small tree that has numerous compound leaves with slender, symmetrical, leaflets on each side of the leaf.
The peppercorns form in clusters on the tips of the branches and can be from white, at an immature age, to pink or even a dark red. And like it's cousin the mango (Anacardiaceae family), this plant can also cause allergies.

Schinus terebinthifolius, or the Brazilian peppertree, is a closely related species whose berries are also sold as pink peppercorns in some areas. This pink pepper plant, like Sch. molle, is also a small tree when fully grown. The biggest difference between it and Sch. molle is their compound leaves. The Leaves of Sch. terebinthifolius have fewer leaflets and they are more stubby and rounded, the veins on the leaves are also light green. It has an appearance similar to that of holly and is sometimes used as a substitute for it. Schinus terebinthifolius grows wildly in only a couple of parts of the United States, mostly low lying areas with plentiful water such as wetlands. The braches of this short trees intertwine to form a thick barrier that blocks light from reaching surrounding plants. Its berries are almost identical to that of it's close relative Schinus molle.

 

 

A pepper shaker in the UK, is more formally known as a pepper pot.

 

 

One last crazy thing…

Peppercorn (legal)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In legal terminology, a peppercorn is a very small payment, used to satisfy the requirements for the creation of a legal contract.

In United Kingdom, and other countries with similar common law systems, a legal contract requires that both sides provide consideration. In other words, if an agreement does not specify that each party will give something of value to the other party, then it is not considered a binding contract, and cannot be enforced in court. This requirement does not exist in contracts with civil law systems.

However, courts will not generally inquire into the adequacy or relative value of the consideration provided by each party. So, if a contract calls for one party to give up something of great value, while the other party gives up something of much lesser value, then it will generally still be considered a valid contract, even though the exchange of value greatly favors one side. Courts, however, will reject "consideration" that was not truly bargained for. For example in Fischer v. Union Trust Co., the judgment held that one dollar paid in exchange for the sale of real property did not constitute valuable consideration since the transaction was not bargained for. The dollar is not considered nominal consideration, not because the dollar was too small an amount, but because it did not induce the seller to part with the property. Such promises that are motivated by love and affection are insufficient to constitute consideration.

So, in order for an essentially one-sided contract to still be valid and binding, the contract will generally be written so that one side gives up something of value, while the other side gives a token sum such as one Pound.

Peppercorn payments are sometimes used when a struggling company is sold. A failing company's net worth may actually be negative, since its liabilities may exceed its assets. So if some other party agrees to take over the company and assume its liabilities as well as its assets, the seller may actually agree to make a large payment to the buyer. But the buyer must still make some payment for the company -- even if that payment is only one dollar or one pound -- in order to establish that both sides have given consideration.

A peppercorn is also used in more balanced contracts, where one side wishes to conceal the nature of their payment. For example, since real estate contracts are generally matters of public record, the purchaser of a house may not wish to list the exact amount of the payment on the contract. But there must be some specific payment listed in the contract, or the contract will be considered void for lack of consideration. So the contract may be written to reflect that the house is being sold in return for "ten dollars and other good and valuable consideration". The ten dollars is the "peppercorn" that provides concrete consideration and ensures that the contract is valid, while the actual amount paid for the house is hidden and referred to only as the "good and valuable consideration".

Another common example of a peppercorn payment being used in legal contracts is the English practice of peppercorn rent, which refers to a nominal rental sum for property, land or buildings. Where a rental contract is put in place and the owner of the property wishes it to be rent free it is normal to charge, say, one pound sterling as a peppercorn rent. Again, this is because, if the owner wants to lease the property, they must charge some rent so that consideration exists for both parties.
Some Australian farms and cattle ranches were historically leased from the Crown for a hundred year term, generally for "one peppercorn per annum, payable on demand".

 

The Above facts came from the following websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_shaker
http://ask.yahoo.com/20030310.html
http://www.foodreference.com/html/fsalt.html
http://ezinearticles.com/?Fun-Facts-About-Salt&id=100637
http://www.saltsense.co.uk/aboutsalt-facts01.htm
http://www.saline.ch/allerlei/fragen_antworten/
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/pepper.html
http://www.bulkpeppercorns.com/history
http://www.mcclancy.com/spice_facts_pepper.asp
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/pepper.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppercorn_%28legal%29
http://www.foodreference.com/html/artsalt.html