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Old 01-03-2022, 03:20 PM   #1
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What's with white pepper?

I keep running across the need for white pepper in recipes. I have never seen white pepper. Can't i use black pepper instead.? What is the difference?

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Old 01-03-2022, 03:54 PM   #2
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There is definitely a different flavor between the white and black peppers. The white is often used in dishes like cream sauces and soups, so the black specks aren't so noticeable. However, where it is used the most is in Chinese, and many SE Asian dushes, and, while black pepper can be used instead, the flavor is different.

White pepper is harvested fully ripened, then soaked for a while, to remove the skins. This results in some fermentation, giving it an unusual, musty like flavor. Another version of white pepper - Sarawak - does the soaking in running water, resulting in a whiter, cleaner tasting peppercorn. I like these better, and I keep a peppermill with these, another with Szechwan pepper, and several with black pepper, since that is the one I use the most.

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Old 01-03-2022, 04:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
There is definitely a different flavor between the white and black peppers. The white is often used in dishes like cream sauces and soups, so the black specks aren't so noticeable. However, where it is used the most is in Chinese, and many SE Asian dushes, and, while black pepper can be used instead, the flavor is different.

White pepper is harvested fully ripened, then soaked for a while, to remove the skins. This results in some fermentation, giving it an unusual, musty like flavor. Another version of white pepper - Sarawak - does the soaking in running water, resulting in a whiter, cleaner tasting peppercorn. I like these better, and I keep a peppermill with these, another with Szechwan pepper, and several with black pepper, since that is the one I use the most.

Everything he said.

When considering pepper, I think of 3 things. Visual, flavor and heat

Visual all depends if you care whether you see black dots in your food or not ( especially cream sauces, or anything light in color

Flavor is definitely different. When I get Chinese Hot and Sour soup, they often sprinkle some white pepper on top at the end. Although I cant explain the flavor itself, it definitely adds a specific taste, different from its black counterpart .
I could definitely pick it out, and would know if it were not added.

Heat, both will add a heat element to the dish. Not sure how they compare to each other. But obviously, the more you use, the more heat will be present.
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Old 01-03-2022, 04:28 PM   #4
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Black or white, it's always better to use freshly ground peppers vs. pre-ground pepper in a tin or jar.
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Old 01-03-2022, 06:55 PM   #5
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And in most cases, white is a much more finer powder than the black pepper, so if you have the urge to smell it to see what it smells like, dont get too close, be careful.

Dont ask me how I know that .
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Old 01-03-2022, 07:25 PM   #6
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Well said, pepp and larry.

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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Black or white, it's always better to use freshly ground peppers vs. pre-ground pepper in a tin or jar.

Absolutely. +1.

We have a battery powered pepper grinder that really helps when the recipe you're making calls for several Tbsps.

The marinade that I used this morning for the game hens used a lot of white pepper. I really liked the different pepper flavor than the regar black, or multi-color peppercorn blend that I usually use.
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Old 01-03-2022, 08:04 PM   #7
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[SIZE="3"]There is definitely a different flavor between the white and black peppers...White pepper is harvested fully ripened, then soaked for a while, to remove the skins. This results in some fermentation, giving it an unusual, musty like flavor. Another version of white pepper - Sarawak - does the soaking in running water, resulting in a whiter, cleaner tasting peppercorn. I like these better, and I keep a peppermill with these, another with Szechwan pepper, and several with black pepper, since that is the one I use the most.
To my nose, white pepper reminds me of horse barn smells. Not something I want on my food. That "Sarawak" pepper sounds doable, though. I'll need to look for some.
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Old 01-03-2022, 08:46 PM   #8
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To my nose, white pepper reminds me of horse barn smells. .
I know EXACTLY what you'r talking about, and I actually love the 'Horse barn' aspect of it
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:21 PM   #9
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I like the smell too, larry, but NOT in my food!
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:34 PM   #10
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I use White Pepper alot, in my Asian Cooking,
but I never noticed an odd smell to it.
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Old 01-03-2022, 10:04 PM   #11
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To my nose, white pepper reminds me of horse barn smells. Not something I want on my food. That "Sarawak" pepper sounds doable, though. I'll need to look for some.
Penzey's was the first place I discovered these. Not as cheap as they used to be, and I forget where I got a lb of them last time - I vacuum seal them, and they last forever; I just refill the peppermill as needed.
https://www.penzeys.com/online-catal...24/p-1421/pd-s
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Old 01-04-2022, 12:23 AM   #12
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What I should do is get up to the Mediterranean store on the north side of Worcester. They sell loose spices weighed to order. It's the most recent place I tried white pepper from, having not liking it other times and thinking it might be stale. Theirs was fresh, but I still didn't like it after grinding it. Maybe they have the Sara... kind and I can get a tablespoon of corns.
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