"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Herbs and Spices
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-06-2021, 08:56 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Is my black pepper POSSESSED?

I like a little fresh ground black pepper on most things, so when I tried to make steamed cabbage in the microwave, I gave it a few grinds. I nuked it, tasted it, it was good… nuked it, tasted it, it was good… nuked it, and then all of a sudden the pepper flavor was REALLY intense! My otherwise perfect cabbage was ruined! I threw a lot of vinegar on there to neutralize the pepper, and made it into sort of coleslaw, and swore to not use black pepper on it next time.



Next time came, and this time I seasoned the cabbage with spicy Old Bay. It's got a little bit of black pepper in it, as many spice mixes do, but not much, and it wasn't fresh ground, so I thought I'd be fine… but the same thing happened! After having microwaved it for a while, all of a sudden the previously undetectable black pepper became overwhelming!


I've done every Google search I can think of, and can't find any mention of this phenomenon. Before deciding on supernatural causes, I thought I'd toss this out and see if anyone knew what the heck was going on here… And how I can fix it!

BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:16 AM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,710
You're not supposed to discuss demonic pepper possession in public. The pepper gods will not be pleased.

Next time, try adding the pepper at the table.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You're not supposed to discuss demonic pepper possession in public. The pepper gods will not be pleased.

Next time, try adding the pepper at the table.

LOL!


I haven't been able to figure out how to get a couple of grinds of pepper to season thousands of little shreds of cabbage, without the pepper being in the water... Is there a secret to that?
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:48 AM   #4
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 2,285
Pray tell, why would you only use
"a couple of grinds of pepper", to season thousands of shreds???

BTW, welcome to the forum!
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnsWater View Post
LOL!


I haven't been able to figure out how to get a couple of grinds of pepper to season thousands of little shreds of cabbage, without the pepper being in the water... Is there a secret to that?


Yes, there is a secret to it.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 10:10 AM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Pray tell, why would you only use
"a couple of grinds of pepper", to season thousands of shreds???

BTW, welcome to the forum!

Thanks, LOL! I'm looking for the pepper to give my food a little boost, not to make me throw up; a couple of grinds gives just the right amount of pepper at first… before becoming WAY too much later on, by a process that I hope to learn to circumvent.
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 10:11 AM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Yes, there is a secret to it.

LOL!!!!!!!
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 10:44 AM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,710
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnsWater View Post
LOL!!!!!!!
TV chefs make a show of grinding pepper over food from a height. This actually makes a difference. Grinding for a height gives you a more even distribution of the pepper over the food below. Give it a try.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 10:53 AM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
TV chefs make a show of grinding pepper over food from a height. This actually makes a difference. Grinding for a height gives you a more even distribution of the pepper over the food below. Give it a try.

That's useful for future reference, thank you! :-)
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 11:13 AM   #10
Master Chef
 
Rocklobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,642
Not all black peppercorns are created equal..maybe you got a stronger than usual batch..Tellicherry peppercorns are considered more stronger and thus more flavorful..you never know..that, combined with the radiation treatment you administered could have created a monster...
Rocklobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Not all black peppercorns are created equal..maybe you got a stronger than usual batch..Tellicherry peppercorns are considered more stronger and thus more flavorful..you never know..that, combined with the radiation treatment you administered could have created a monster...

I'm sure that there are variations between batches, but this bizarre effect has occurred only with the steamed cabbage, and not with anything else I've used the black pepper for, either before or since.


I was assuming that this was some sort of known issue… But am I in fact the only person who has pepper becoming 1000 times stronger when microwaving cabbage?
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 11:34 AM   #12
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 472
While I have little to no experience microwaving black pepper, is it possible that you are burning it (black pepper does burn)?

Try putting a small amount of the same grind in a small bowl, with the same relative moisture present in the cabbage, and see how long you can microwave it before it goes nasty.
ScottinPollock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 11:42 AM   #13
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
While I have little to no experience microwaving black pepper, is it possible that you are burning it (black pepper does burn)?

Try putting a small amount of the same grind in a small bowl, with the same relative moisture present in the cabbage, and see how long you can microwave it before it goes nasty.

I guess it's possible to burn just about anything, even in suspension in liquid, if you try hard enough, LOL… But if it was burned, wouldn't it smell burned, taste burned, or at least have a flavor or odor that becomes off in some way, rather than just getting stronger? This isn't a "bad" flavor, if I was making for example a sausage casserole, it would be perfectly acceptable… it's just not acceptable for cabbage, and it's radically different than the flavor it started out with.


Have I had a unique experience here, TWICE? No one else has ever had black pepper suddenly become much stronger while it's being cooked?
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 12:18 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 10,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnsWater View Post
Is my black pepper POSSESSED?
No, you didn't pay your pepper exorcist, so it was REPOSSESSED!
__________________
The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate STUPID!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 12:23 PM   #15
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
No, you didn't pay your pepper exorcist, so it was REPOSSESSED!

LOL!!!!!
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 12:26 PM   #16
Executive Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You're not supposed to discuss demonic pepper possession in public. The pepper gods will not be pleased.

Next time, try adding the pepper at the table.
But you could also not add it at the beginning of steaming your cabbage. Wait until it is almost done - grind some in, toss, finish steaming. I imagine it will be fine.

Let us know!
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 12:52 PM   #17
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
But you could also not add it at the beginning of steaming your cabbage. Wait until it is almost done - grind some in, toss, finish steaming. I imagine it will be fine.

Let us know!

I dunno, I'm a little bit dubious that 2 grinds of pepper can be distributed throughout 3 quarts of shredded cabbage to flavor all of it right at the end… But more than that, what I'm hoping to discover is what is happening, and why… although it looks like no one else here has ever cooked something with black pepper where the black pepper suddenly got 100 times stronger towards the end.



How about any seasoning, in any dish, prepared in any manner, that got wildly stronger towards the end of cooking? Anyone?
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 01:04 PM   #18
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnsWater View Post
Have I had a unique experience here, TWICE? No one else has ever had black pepper suddenly become much stronger while it's being cooked?
Not at all. Burnt black pepper will be much stronger in flavor (and a bit more bitter), think blackened redfish or other blackened cajun recipes. Even lightly toasting it will make it stronger.

I have no idea of the sensitivity of pepper to microwaves so why run the little experiment I suggested?
ScottinPollock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 09:13 PM   #19
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: San Diego
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Not at all. Burnt black pepper will be much stronger in flavor (and a bit more bitter), think blackened redfish or other blackened cajun recipes. Even lightly toasting it will make it stronger.

I have no idea of the sensitivity of pepper to microwaves so why run the little experiment I suggested?

The pepper was absolutely, positively, NOT burned. Something that is burned will have a distinctive smell and flavor, and there was no hint of burned smell or flavor. The problem here is that the taste of the pepper became STRONGER, as if someone had snuck into my kitchen and put another 100 grinds of pepper into the food; the pepper tasted EXACTLY like black pepper always tastes. No burned taste, no alteration of flavor at all. If pepper or anything else is burned, that's a result of simply cooking it too long, and you cook it less time. The situation here is that I ended up with perfectly steamed cabbage with wildly exaggerated pepper flavor, even when the only black pepper that was in there was the small amount presents in a spice mix.



So now, I'm sure I'll learn something very interesting about food preparation! I put fresh ground pepper in water in a bowl in the microwave, put a lid on it, and microwaved it stop and go, like I do checking for doneness of food, checking the flavor each time, for a full half an hour. At no time was there any alteration in the intensity of pepper flavor. I look forward to how this sheds light on my experiences with the steamed cabbage!
BurnsWater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 06:26 AM   #20
Executive Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,731
Have you made that exact recipe for cabbage without the pepper at all?

Just could be, it is your cabbage that has developed a peppery taste.

Or your taste buds have become very sensitive to the peppercorns and cabbage in that combo.

Also try whole peppercorns boiled in the steaming water first, remove peppercorns add cabbage, etc...
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
black pepper, pepper

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.