PEPPER GOURMET: A more course ground than fine black pepper. Its strong flavor enhances the flavor of steaks and roasts. Black, Red and Green and White peppers, all come from the same plant. The final color has to do with their ripeness. A black peppercorn is picked when still green and dried in the sun until it turns black. A white peppercorn ripens fully on the vine before it is picked. Green is picked prior to maturity. Black pepper has a slightly hotter flavor and aroma. As with any spice, if purchased in its natural (whole) form it will have more flavor than if it was ground in a factory months ago. Peppercorns are the berries of the pepper plant, which is native to Southern Asia.
INTERESTING FACT: Pepper was the spice that Europe's explorers were seeking when they accidentally found the New World on their "shortcut" to Asia. Pepper still accounts for a quarter of the world's spice trade.