A few pepper-related haiku for you:
“That’s too much pepper,”
said no one in our family,
at any time, ever.
~ or ~
the pepper grinder
might have a flat tire ~
we need a spare
~ or ~
How many grinders
does one little cabin need?
It made me smile when I realized that we have three pepper grinders in one tiny 2-bedroom log cabin. Why? We love our pepper! At Little House in the Rockies, Glover Gardens, or anywhere else that we take a meal, there needs to be pepper. Freshly-ground preferred! I have a pepper grinder in my desk at work and sometimes carry one in my purse. You never know when you’ll need it!
Colossal Pepper Grinder in London
Imagine my delight when I saw this pepper grinder recently at an airport hotel restaurant in London. Bring it on!!!
That’s my colleague snapping a pic to show his wife. The waiter, a marvelous fellow from a faraway place, was excited about being in the blog. I want to go back to show this to him, and to get some more pepper from that appropriately-sized grinder!
Why More than One Grinder?
A good reason to have multiple pepper grinders is to dispense multiple types of peppercorns for different pepper needs. (I’m serious here, pay attention.)
- One grinder might have just black ones, for those times when you want a straightforward, traditional pepper hit. A weeknight, for instance.
- Another grinder might have 3-pepper blend, a mix of black, green and white peppercorns, when you want that all-over-the-tastebuds, broad pepper experience. On a steak, or grilled fish. Or atop the cream cheese on a bagel (try it, you’ll like it!).
- A third grinder might have a special mix that includes the rarest of peppercorns, the red ones, or perhaps you’d put the Tellicherry peppercorns in it. Tellicherry peppercorns come from the same plant as regular black Malabar ones, but are larger in size, having been left on the vine to ripen longer. They have a more complex flavor and hit different taste buds. They rock.
- And maybe you’d need a fourth grinder – don’t forget about Szechuan peppercorns! They’re not from the same plant as the others, but also pack a potent pepper wallop. If you’re a pepper fanatic, that 4th grinder for Szechuan peppercorns (also spelled Sichuan) might be a necessity.
The 411 on Pepper: Did You Know?
Other than salt, pepper is the most-used, most-traded spice in the world. It is actually a fruit and has medicinal benefits. Really! It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial substance, and can increase the absorption of some nutrients (like Vitamin B and selenium). It is also said to be thermogenic, meaning that it increases the rate that you burn calories.
No wonder I’m addicted!!!!
Did You Further Know?
Pepper has been with us humans for a long, long time, possibly as far back as 1200 B.C. It has been called the “King of Spices,” AKA “black gold,” and I couldn’t agree more. Some ancient cultures used pepper for currency, and some treated it as a delicacy to be enjoyed after a meal, like a mint. It was used in the mummification rituals with the pharaohs. It was also known as a remedy for cold and flu because it helps to dry up congestion. And still is!
What a wonder-spice!
What Did Chef Paul Say?
You might know if you’ve been following Glover Gardens for a while that Chef Paul Prudhomme is a family hero. My Mom, an oil and gas kid who grew up all over the country living wherever her geophysicist Dad was working, came late but came hard to the joys of Cajun-Creole cooking. Chef Paul was her teacher, via his cookbooks, along with Justin Wilson and his TV show.
Chef Paul’s introduction in his Louisiana Kitchen cookbook (which I highly recommend) has a wonderful description of how to use the different peppers. A gift from my Mom, I treasured Chef Paul’s seminal cookbook when it came out in the 80s and read the intro multiple times to understand and absorb his philosophy. Here’s what he said about the different peppers.
I try to make my food “round” in taste. We have a variety of taste buds in our mouths and when food is “round”, it touches all of them in turn. One way I make food “round” is to use red, white and black peppers in the same recipe, which you’ll see I do frequently (as a matter of fact, not just frequently, but in nearly every recipe except desserts!). Different peppers excite taste buds in different parts of the mouth, and this makes you feel that you want another bite – that you just have to have another bite. The peppers also cleanse the palate and keep the food interesting by making it change with each bite. This keeps your taste buds happy!
Viva la Pepper, the “King of Spices”!
I like that mantra from Chef Paul above: Keep your taste buds happy!
© 2018, Glover Gardens
~ with thanks to our friends Carl and Rose for the baseball bat-shaped King Pepper pepper grinder in the centerpiece of the 3-peppergrinder picture