White pepper vs. black pepper

  • White pepper vs. black pepper Dinah

    Other than color, what is the difference between white pepper and black pepper? I thought it was purely a color thing so that black pepper wouldn't ruin the color of, say, a white sauce. We tried white pepper in a few dishes and in all cases, they were wretched. (FWIW: one recipe was Alfredo sauce.) The only things I can come up with are:

    • There is a substantial difference between the 2 and we apparently do not like white pepper
    • There is not a substantial difference but we got a bad batch of white pepper
    • There may or may not be a difference, but the recipes we tried should not have included this spice

    Which is correct?

  • They don't taste identical at all, and even more important, they don't smell the same. White pepper has a distinct "barnyard" odor. People do indeed use them when black flecks might be unpleasant, but in most cases I'd rather go pepperless or just live with the color.

  • Same plant for both. Black pepper is unripe fruit (green), picked and sun dried til it turns black. White pepper is the fully ripe seed stripped of its outer husk.

    Here's the first link that google gave me to verify. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_pepper#White_pepper

    Also, Harold McGee has a couple of pages in "On Food and Cooking" for further detail.

  • I found an interesting article by Harold McGee, where he writes that the substance rotundone is contained in much higher concentrations in white pepper than in black, and goes on to note:

    ...they tested 49 people and found that about 20 percent of them could not detect rotundone at all, even at concentrations far above what’s found in white pepper. The scientists say this shows the different experiences two people can have of the same wine, or of the same pepper-seasoned food.

    So the recipe you tried may well have been created by someone far less sensitive to the flavor than yourself and your family. Something worth keeping in mind when seasoning food for a group...

  • I think they taste a little different. It seems to me that black pepper is more spicy when you first eat it and white pepper seems to be more of a lingering spiciness.

  • Black pepper and white pepper are differing preparations of the fruit of the Piper nigrum plant.

    Black pepper is made from the unripened, green fruit. It is dried, whereupon the fruit shrivels leaving the distinctive black, wrinkly exterior.

    White pepper is the fruit's dried seed without the encapsulating flesh. The flesh is removed by a process called retting, essentially the process of allowing microbes to eat away the tissues surrounding the seed.

    The two variants do have a differing flavor as the flesh of the fruit contains terpenes which give pepper much of its scent and flavor. White pepper's flavor can differ depending on how long the retting process was allowed to take place. This may be what produced the off flavors you found.

  • Yes white pepper has a very distinct flavour. Many people perceive it to have a "hotter" flavour, while having less complex flavours than black. If the white pepper flavour seems to dominate a specific dish, I'd simply use less. A lot of recipes call for it simply because of the colour. Personally, I think that's ridiculous as the flavour is very different. I quite like the flavour, but wouldn't add it to everything. If you're trying to find a use for it... find flavours that better compliment the usage of it. It is used in a lot of Cantonese soups and sauces, for example.

Related questions and answers
  • ) (note the singular) refers to black peppercorns unless otherwise qualified. Red pepper (US, note the singular) refers to dried, red chilies (typically cayenne) that has been dried and ground or crushed... typically for pasta or pizza. marinara (US) is used synonymously with tomato sauce, and may refer to both quick or long-cooked varieties. tomato paste (US) is tomato purée (UK) tomato purée (US...This post is an attempt to keep track of the terms that differ between dialects of English or exist in some dialects but not others: British / Australian / Canadian / American / etc. Please note

  • I cooked chili using the following ingedients: Oil for sauteing 1.5 pounds beef, minced 1 large white onion, finely chopped 1 red bell peper, diced 1 orange bell pepper, diced 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1... in taste (not bitter) and carries a lot of heat. Is this correct? Then I tried this: Put a couple of spoonfuls of chili on a plate. Add 1/4 tsp (approx) of cayenne pepper and mix. Taste. Well, the heat increased, but not TERIBLY so (it was perfectly eatable). Also the bitter aftertaste became worse. I also tried tasting a tip of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, directly. Ok it was hot

  • My wife and I cooked a pork tenderloin with a molasses-based glaze/sauce this evening. However, we didn't care for it, not because of the molasses but because the recipe called for ground cumin—turns out, we don't care for cumin. How could I make something similar without cumin. The original ingredients were: 2 tbsp molasses 1 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp salt 1 lb pork tenderloin

  • . On occasions I have managed to cook it all white but this is the exception not the rule. Does the size of pieces make a difference as to how well it cooks? Does size make a difference as to how I should... properly. Could it be the temperature? Even if I don't go above a simmer, it still doesn't cook properly. Does stirring make a difference? I have tried this, but it doesn't seem to. Do you have any...When I try to make chicken soup I usually find parts of the meat don't seemed to be cooked properly: red, purple, or brown bits which I think should be white. Sometimes some pieces come out white

  • (This may be a silly question, but I'll ask anyway since I am curious about this.) We have an older fridge and it has a drawer labeled "snack pan." I'm not sure how to understand "snack" here... meat compartment is colder?) I tried searching Google already, but all I ended up with were pages of replacement parts, repair instructions, and a few spammy links. Sadly, there was nothing truly informative. So here I am.

  • Possible Duplicate: How not to mess up Béchamel sauce Just starting to learn how to create cream sauces for dishes; as it's foreign to me. Most the sauces i know start with a slurry and soy sauce. I tried creating sauces from this recipe. Béchamel Sauce: 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup heated milk salt white pepper freshly ground nutmeg (optional) It seems to get lumpy. What is the trick? I think i may have added the flour too quickly or the milk had to be much hotter

  • Possible Duplicate: How do I make my roux taste less like flour? I'm trying to make a basic cheese sauce for putting over broccoli, etc. A typical recipe I've tried is: 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder Sea salt, to taste 1 cup low fat milk 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated White pepper, to taste Melt butter... with white pepper. The problem is that it always ends up with a flour/paste undertaste. Am I just not cooking the Roux sufficiently before adding the cheese or what?

  • I was looking for a recipe for an Italian tomato sauce when I came across an old cookbook from an American Creole Chef I like, but I'm really confused about the terminology he uses for some of the ingredients and wondered if someone could clarify exactly what he's referring to. In the recipe he asks for - 2 cans (6 ounces) of tomato paste 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) of tomato sauce 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) of tomato puree I've always assumed that tomato paste and tomato puree were the same thing, but clearly not. Can anyone clarify the difference between these two? Tomato sauce in the UK

  • We received some extremely hot peppers of some sort in our CSA bin. They're a light green color and look like under-ripe habaneros, and we can't for the life of us figure out what kind of pepper they are. My dad used to tell me that eating spicy things would "put hair on my chest," but I think these peppers would burn the hair right off of my body, given the chance. Since I'm not the biggest fan of deathly spicy peppers, we're considering roasting them to reduce their heat to something similar to the peppers we normally use. I'm curious what happens to the capsaicin content of the pepper