It’s time to pep things up! The finest-food-age PEPPER COLLECTION is a wake-up call for the senses – an exciting pepper collection that puts this everyday spice in a whole new light. Because pepper is not just “hot” …

The “king of spices” was brought to Europe from India by Alexander the Great and it took European cooking by storm. In the oldest surviving cookbook from the Roman era, De re coquinaria, almost every recipe calls for pepper. Pepper was and is valued for its active ingredient, piperine, which enhances the production of saliva and gastric secretions and thus promotes digestion.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian tradition of medicine, attaches great importance to the form of pepper known as “pippali”, regarding it as a “warming” spice. The wild warmth of pepper reflects its origins: the peppercorns are the seeds of shrubs and vines that grow in the tropics and sub-tropics. The pepper family – Piperaceae in botanical terminology – is a large group of plants comprising five genera and roughly 3,600 species. The range of different peppers is worth exploring. It is astonishing that only one variety is normally found in the shops; the apparent diversity arises only because the berries have been picked at different stages of maturity, resulting in peppercorns of different colours.

The pepper’s pungency suits almost every dish, because it complements the food’s flavour rather than competing with it. As well as the sharpness that comes from the piperine, pepper contains essential oils which lend different flavours to different varieties. When cooking, the pepper should be added to the food right at the end and freshly ground, so that the taste of these essential oils is not lost. One of the best ways of doing this is with the heavy cast iron pepper grinder available from finest-food-age.

The selected varieties in the finest-food-age PEPPER COLLECTION are all one-year peppers. This means that they have all been freshly harvested and have not been kept in Storage. To ensure protection from harmful environmental influences, the peppers in the finest-food-age PEPPER COLLECTION are supplied in high-quality violet glass jars.

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