What is White Pepper

QUESTION: What is White Pepper?

ANSWER: Whereas all peppercorns are the dried fruit of the pepper plant, White Pepper is made by removing the skins from ripe peppercorns.

white pepper

Types of Pepper

White peppercorns are dried fruit of the pepper plant, they are harvested when ripe and mature. The berries are then soaked in water for a few days and then the skins are rubbed off and removed. White peppercorns have a milder flavor than black peppercorns and also blend in well with white dishes, such as cream sauces and mashed potatoes.

White peppercorns smell earthy, not as aromatic as black peppercorns, and taste hot and creamy, not as pungent as black peppercorns.

You won’t find white pepper on the table as a finishing ingredient in the USA but is quite popular in sauces, potatoes, soups and beverages especially in Europe. Because of the extra processing involved, white pepper is slightly more expensive than black pepper but not as expensive as some other types of peppercorns.

There are four main types of peppercorns, each with a unique color. Let’s explore these peppercorn colors in the table below.

Types of Pepper

Type Characteristics Flavor Best Uses
white White Pepper Ripened & Skinless Mild Flavor White dishes: cream sauces & mashed potatoes
white Black Pepper Unripe berries with Skins intact. They are boiled, fermented and then dried in the sun until they turn black and their skins become wrinkled. Strongest Flavor of the peppers – hot, pungent & aromatic. America’s Go-to Pepper. Unless labeled, most black pepper is a mix of peppercorns from a variety of growing locations.
white Green Pepper Picked before they’re ripe, they are green and immature. They are either air-dried, freeze dried or pickled. Fresh flavor, not as spicy. Traditional French peppercorn sauce recipes call for green peppers. They are generally the most expensive peppercorns because of small crops and additional processing.
white Pink Pepper These peppercorns are not actually from a pepper tree and are more related to a rose bush – thus they are often called “rose pepper”. Mildest flavor of the peppers, almost sweet. An expensive and hard to find peppercorn variety.

Additional Information

For information on types of salt visit our kosher salt page.

To find out how long salt lasts, check our salt page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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