Black Pepper comes from the pepper plant, a flowering vine native to India that is cultivated for its fruit. The fruit, when dried,is known as a peppercorn. Ground Black Pepper is made by grinding cracked black peppercorns.
Pepper has been a prized spice throughout history. During the time of ancient Greece, black pepper was not only used as a seasoning. Pepper was often traded as a currency and was once considered a sacred offering to the gods. In the middle ages, a man’s wealth was oftentimes measures by his stockpile of black pepper.
The reason that black pepper was so treasured is that it served important culinary purposes. The pungency of black pepper has the power to spice up otherwise bland food. Due to its antibacterial properties, black pepper is also used to preserve food.
Globally, it is common to add a pinch of black pepper to almost any recipe imaginable.