Black pepper comes from the berries of the pepper plant. Black pepper, green pepper and white peppercorns are really the same fruit (Piper nigrum); the difference in their color is a reflection of variable stages of development and processing methods.
Black peppercorns are created by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to become red. They are other left to dry which causes them to shrivel and become black in color. Alternatively, green peppercorns are picked while still immature and green in coloring, while white peppercorns are picked when very ripe and subsequently soaked in seawater to remove their dark outer shell leaving just the white pepper seed.
Pink peppercorns are actually from a completely another plant species (Schinus molle) that is related to ragweed.
Black pepper is the most pungent and flavorful of all types of peppers and it is available as whole or cracked peppercorns or ground into powder.
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