black pepper

K.A.Zeller kzeller at
Mon Mar 6 10:54:42 EST 1995

In article <3jcnl4$1ps at>, heytler at (Peter
Heytler) wrote:
> >
> >I read (somewhere) recently that black pepper is green pepper that has 
> >been "aged" and has had a fungus form on it naturally. mber 
> >Meriah...
>   That doesn't sound right to me, though there may be some type of
> condiment prepared that way.  Common black pepper comes from a totally
> different plant, and two types are in far-apart plant families with 
> different habitats.
>   Ordinary black peppercorns are the dried small berries of a tropical
> vine (Piper nigrum). Green peppers - as well as the various other 
> fleshy green, red and yellow peppers - are the fruit of various species
> of Capsicum, esp. C. frutescens.[snip]
> --Peter Heytler

Actually,... I think that the green peppercorns (yes these do exist) do
come from a species of Piper (I'll have to look it up in a herb & spice
book that I have at home to be sure) and that the black ones are just
fermented and dried green pepercorns.  I think you are confusing the two
types of green "pepper".  

Sorry I can't add any input into the origional question; as to what
specifically is done to make the green peppercorns into black ones.  

Kurt A. Zeller                * -- One difficulty, of course, is that no 
Dept. of Biol. Sci            * two students,... will agree entirely on the
Purdue University-W. Lafayette* relative significance of the various
<kzeller at>* features involved.  This, however, should 
There really is fun in fungi! * discourage no one: that one's own ideas
                              * cannot be unequivocally proved to be 
                              * correct is a small price to pay for the 
                              * certainty that they will not be proved
                              * entirely wrong.--Raper and Flexer, 1971.  

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