This page is all about the Simplicity of Cracked Black Pepper! Yay!
Where a recipe calls for salt, you can usually bet there’s going to be a little pepper right behind it. This might not be the case with all things. For example, doughs or sweet stuff, but as a general rule, the flavor balance of salt and pepper fits right into most any dish.
Is it a coincidence then that salt is white and pepper is black? The perfect symbol for polar opposites in every way. Color, flavor, usage, yet they are perfectly in-sync like yin and yang.
Okay, the whimsy is getting a little out of control here, I know! This is just how much I truly love food and all the relationships between ingredients like this!
So when I’m creating a recipe that calls for pepper, nine times out of ten I reach for the coarse grind. Same like with the salt, I just love the texture. It also can make your dish (like a creamy soup or a salad) look really thoughtfully garnished. Just crack a little fresh pepper on before serving, and viola!
Fine black pepper has it’s moments in my kitchen – although for reference I’m struggling to recall exactly when! Mostly in the rare case I want the pepper to be more well-blended in my recipe. Maybe a dough that I don’t want big chunks of pepper in?
So, while I do usually opt for the coarser stuff, I always keep a little finely ground black pepper on hand.
When using black pepper in your kitchen, don’t make the mistake of relying on black pepper for spice alone. You literally want to use it for a peppery flavor. Heat and spiciness come from other things like chili powder, red chili flakes, or cayenne pepper. So, if you want to kick up the heat in your dish, go for a chili pepper-based spice versus dousing your food with black pepper. Doing so may give your food a very undesired flavor!
I’m still on the lookout for a specific brand of cracked black pepper that I know I can trust, without the huge price tag. So, if you have any suggestions, please do let me know! In the meantime, I try to pick up whatever organic or non-gmo grinder I can find! For example, Trader Joe’s feels like a good bet, and most grocery stores carry something along the lines of the Simply Organic brand.
Whatever I buy, I always try to read labels and get a good feel for the brand and product based off of that information (and the price). After that, I can always do more research at home about a specific company to see if this is something I can trust!
So, like I said when it comes to the pepper, although I love it, I still haven’t met a grinder that sweeps me off my feet!
Do you feel like you’re about to sneeze with all this pepper talk? Let’s go give some love to my next essential kitchen ingredient, garlic.