Top Pick Of The Week

February 27, 2007
Updated November 2010

. .
Pepper Corn Sampler
A peppercorn gift sampler from Chef Stefan.
WHAT IT IS: Varietal peppercorns—20 different pepper types and counting.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Each origin of the world produces pepper with different aromas and flavors—just like coffee beans and chocolate.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Another way to vary food accents—and it has no calories!

Varietal Peppercorns:
Spice Up Your Life

Page 10: Tasting & Comparing Pepper Types


Tasting & Comparing Pepper Types

Like many things we taste at THE NIBBLE, If you purchase a variety of peppers, you’ll notice the different aromas. But as with perfumes and other strong fragrances, the first one or two will take over your nose sensors and make it difficult to smell the rest.

The professional secret to clearing one’s nose is fresh, unground coffee beans: The chemical compounds in the beans miraculously clear the nose of all other scents. When we go to trade shows, we carry the beans in a cheese shaker (also used for powdered sugar, cracked red pepper and other spices). It’s a lifesaver.

We highly recommend it if you’re sampling soaps or anything with fragrances. If you’re alone at home, open up the bag or canister of coffee beans and inhale; if you’re with others, put the beans in a cup and pass it around.

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Tasting & Comparing Pepper Types (Continued)

After you get past the rush of piperine, note the other flavor characteristics. Do you taste citrus? Florals? Woodsy/earthy/vegetal/smoky notes? Hints of other spices? Unfortunately, it’s not easy to remove the pungent piperine from your palate so you can get on to tasting the next peppercorn:

Piperine has a long finish. Cubes of cream cheese on water biscuits help, but if you’re having friends over for a tasting, don’t plan to sit around the table tasting, as you would with chocolate, wine or other foods. It can takes 10 or 15 minutes for your palate to be ready for the next peppercorn.

We suggest renting an inspiring food DVD, like Babette’s Feast (or review our comprehensive list of films about food).


Continue To Page 11: Mortar & Pepper Mill

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ABOUT THE NIBBLE. THE NIBBLE, Great Food Finds™, is an online magazine about specialty foods and the gourmet life. It is the only consumer publication and website that focuses on reviewing the best specialty foods and beverages, in every category. The magazine also covers tabletop items, gourmet housewares, and other areas of interest to people who love fine food.

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