Is my black pepper POSSESSED?

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BurnsWater

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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! :ohmy:
 
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.
 
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?
 
Pray tell, why would you only use
"a couple of grinds of pepper", to season thousands of shreds???:LOL:

BTW, welcome to the forum!
 
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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.
 
Pray tell, why would you only use
"a couple of grinds of pepper", to season thousands of shreds???:LOL:

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.
 
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! :)
 
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...
 
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?
 
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.
 
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?
 
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!
 
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? :yum:
 
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?
 
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! :D
 
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...
 
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