types of pepper - green, black, white and red peppers

How To Use Different Types Of Peppers With Your Dishes?

Pepper has been given such an important place in our kitchen that it has its own properties, even with salt, which is a fatigue partner: salt and pepper. Together they have made many differences in our recipes, and also they are the basis of our spices. Specially pepper, by selecting the right pepper type with our recipes, we can make a delicious difference in our dishes.

From ancient times pepper got a very special place in most dishes of the kings and emperors of Europe because of pepper’s conventional properties. Currently, pepper has lost that elitist character. We can find it in all kitchens, being the main responsible for giving that slightly spicy touch to our meals. However, there are still more possibilities and some questions in the air.

Is everything we see on the market labeled as pepper being pepper? Does black pepper have the same use as white or green pepper? Is it better to buy already ground pepper, or is it recommended to buy it whole?

Most common types of pepper: Green, Black, Red and White pepper

To find the pepper’s meaning, we have to look at the plant’s scientific name and its genus Piper. The pepper that we usually have at home is the one that comes from the Piper Nigrum, whether green, white, red, or black.

black pepper, white pepper, red pepper

It is the most common and most widespread throughout the world. These four versions correspond to the same species but different stages of maturation. But they all come from a climbing plant that can reach 4 meters high and whose fruits, as a bunch, correspond to the pepper’s berries.

The green one is the least intense, and we can find it either dry or in a brine (saltwater). I recommend using it with white meat dishes that are delicate or with low-fat fish, such as a hake. This lower intensity of green pepper is because it is harvested even without maturing. So it does not develop all its potential, but it is very aromatic. Originally, especially in India and Southeast Asia, it is often found fresh and is widely used in local cuisines, such as curries.

The next state is black pepper. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not the most intense. Black pepper is a green berry that is allowed to dry completely, but its outer rind is keeping. In the United States, it is usually the most common pepper.

There are many more options when selecting a variety of pepper. In the United States market, we can find more than thirty different pepper varieties, some more aromatic, others spicier, and others more resinous. But the most demanded are black peppers.

In this case, we are talking about peppers that have not fully matured, something that does not happen with real red pepper and white pepper. Red pepper is a green grain that has been allowed to grow fully and that when harvested is left to dry. Depending on the origin, it is more intense or less.

Finally, we find white pepper. In France, the use of white pepper is more common, and many dishes are made with it, especially so that it does not stand out chromatically. Although we believe that it is less powerful due to its color and fame, in reality, it is the most intense.

white pepper and black pepper in a jug

Among the most popular two cases: Sarawak, from Malaysia, which is ideal for grilled meats and has notes of wood and fruit; and Penja, from Cameroon, which is very fresh and with hints of menthol.

Other peppers in the Piper family

If we adhere to botanical criteria, peppers can only be the grains, berries, or pods of plants that belong to the Piper genus. We have already told you about the most popular one, the Nigrum, but there are other options.

They all have different food-related use. For example, Indonesian black is spicier than Indian pepper, because it has a higher pepper content. Not only that, but also the Piper Cubeba commonly called Java Pepper. Physically it differs from the Piper Nigrum in dry because it has a kind of tail. It joins the spike that many of these small berries make up.

Although not common in Western food, mainly for its bitter notes, it is highly prized in Indonesia for its light spiciness and hints of other spices, such as cloves. The reason why it is usually us in dishes that mix sweet and savory like chutney.

Cubeba pepper, native to Indonesia, is characterized by its light spiciness and its aromatic, tiny and bitter clove notes. Use this Cubeba pepper alone or mixed with other peppers to flavor your sweet-savory dishes, chutneys, or compotes.

Peppers that are not peppers

Adhering to botanical criteria, it is clear that peppers, officially, can only be those that come from the Piper genus. However, other trees and shrubs also give grains or berries that have owned the name of ‘pepper’ for their appearance or for having a certain degree of spiciness.

Among them, we find several well-known cases that you will surely like to try in your kitchen.

  • Jamaican pepper

It is commonly calling as allspice because its flavor is similar to many different spices such as cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg. But it comes from the Pimenta dioica tree. It should notice that Jamaica pepper does not itch as a curiosity because it does not have piperine.

  • Sichuan or Szechuan pepper

The sound of words plays a trick again. This spice is very common in Chinese cuisine. It comes from the Zanthoxylum Piperitum tree, a thorny Asian shrub, whose dried fruit has a citrus, lemon aroma, and a small itch that numbs the mouth. However, it also does not have piperine.

  • Pink pepper

It comes from a South American bush called Schinus Molle, and its berries are picking after ripe. Its spiciness is more similar to that of chilies, especially as it is more fruity than pepper. It is an excellent complement to salads or soft fish dishes.

  • Cayenne pepper

It is not a pepper, but a mixture of dried and ground ripe chili and cayenne. It has nothing to do with Pipers, but it is widespread and rich in our kitchen.

Three mistakes should not make with pepper

However, specific problems are repeating in our kitchens when it comes to treating peppers.

  • Keep them wrong

It is best to store them in small airtight jars, even at room temperature. Also, heat is not one of your worst enemies. We are talking about products of eastern and subtropical origins where heat is not a problem. Therefore changes in temperature should be avoided.

black pepper
  • Buy them already ground

Good peppercorns, well preserved and in its berry, can maintain its aroma and properties for a couple of years. One that is already grounded in three months will have lost most of its spark. Something that saves the distances also happens to us with the coffee, and it is that this spoils before if it is already grounded.

  • Add them in whole

It is very typical to add peppercorns to a stew. But I do not recommend it because the pepper is not sugar or salt, it does not melt, and its flavor is not enhanced when thrown in whole. It is best to grind it just before adding it. For this, a simple mortar will suffice.

eucalyptus can be used when showering

What Are The Benefits Of Having Eucalyptus In The Shower?

Putting eucalyptus leaves in the shower seems to have therapeutic effects against stress, pain, and some respiratory symptoms. By using eucalyptus properly, you can get more advantages to your body and mind. I did research about eucalyptus, and this is about the results of that.

Having eucalyptus in the shower not only serves to bring a pleasant aroma to space, but also to improve various health conditions. This plant is known in popular literature for its medicinal properties, ranging from cold remedies to aromatherapy to reduce stress.

There are several ways to take advantage of its attributes and incorporate them into the daily routine. For example, take it as an infusion, spray or hang some branches in the shower, etc. In the latter, the steam helps the oils contained in the eucalyptus to be activated and released into the environment.

eucalyptus on bathroom

Eucalyptus benefits in the shower

Although the most common use of eucalyptus is through vapors, another simple way to take advantage of its properties is to locate the branches inside the shower, either hanging from the tap or inside a container. For this, fresh or dried leaves can be used. Next, let’s discuss what the benefits of this practice are.

  • It has a relaxing effect

The smell of eucalyptus appears to help reduce tension in some people. In fact, an Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine study indicates that eucalyptol, a substance present in this plant, could contribute to decreasing anxiety. So if you need to relax, having eucalyptus in the shower would be a good idea.

  • Helps reduce cold symptoms

For years, eucalyptus has been used to lessen flu symptoms and improve airway problems. According to research published in the “Cough Journal,” eucalyptol, also known as cineole, would be responsible for these properties.

In particular, its volatile compounds decrease congestion and irritation in patients with respiratory problems. In addition, it calms the cough in bronchitis, in just four days of use. However, it is only an adjuvant, not a first-line treatment.

  • Helps to relieve sinusitis

Sinusitis is a prevalent condition caused by inflammation of the sinuses due to the presence of bacteria. There are several ways to treat it, from over-the-counter pain relievers to surgical procedures.

However, if the symptoms do not represent a greater discomfort, the benefits of eucalyptus can be used. According to a publication of the “Otorhinolaryngologica Italica Act,” its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and decongestant properties are useful against this condition’s symptoms.

  • Promotes skin health

Sweat, makeup, and environmental pollution can cause the skin to lose its hydration and natural shine. Steam helps improve these conditions, as it dilates the pores and removes dead cells.

As regards eucalyptus, a study by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science suggests that this plant increases the production of ceramides, essential lipids to maintain skin health in optimal conditions.

  • Helps mitigate pain

In addition to its decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties, eucalyptus appears to have benefits for pain relief. This is indicated by a clinical trial of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, in which the plant was useful for pain patients undergoing a knee replacement operation.

eucalyptus as a air freshner on bed

Although supporting evidence is lacking, the warm, humid environment created by having eucalyptus in the shower is said to be ideal for stretching as needed after exercise routines.

What are the side effects of using eucalyptus in the shower?

Although using eucalyptus in the shower does not have any adverse health effects, it is essential to keep it away from water. This is because it can be irritating to skin and eyes. If you notice any skin irritation, it is best to stop using it and check if you are allergic to the components of this plant.

How can we use eucalyptus in addition to the shower?

In addition to hanging branches in the shower, there are other ways to use eucalyptus to get the most out of its properties. A spray containing water, some leaves, and a few drops of oil from this plant will be useful for the environment.

eucalyptus as a perfume

You can also inhale it in the form of essential oil, in a diffuser, or apply it to the skin. For this last option, don’t forget to use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, or a non-chemical cream to dissolve it, as it can be irritating if used on its own.

Now that you know all this, do not hesitate to buy some branches and enjoy the benefits it offers. Of course, remember that it is not a first-line treatment in case of illness and does not replace medical recommendations.

Disclaimer: You should always seek medical advice before trying any products in you bath or directly on your skin

Dry saffron on a table spoon

Why Is Saffron So Expensive?

Saffron is one of the most valuable spices medicine in the world from the past. Ancient Romans and Greeks have used saffron as a perfume. Not only past but also today use saffron as a cooking spice, herb, medicine, and even as a clothing and skin dye. Now let’s move to the price of Saffron.

When we are talking about the price of saffron, surely you will be shocked. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, and its price is about 5000$ per Pound. The next most costly spices are Vanilla and Cardamom, respectively, and also their prices are 600$ and 30$.

According to these details, you can understand Saffron is really expensive.

What can be the reason for this huge price? Is Saffron valuable for this price? Let’s discuss this.

There are four main reasons for this huge price, and they are as follows.

  • Saffron makes using the Crocus Sativus flower (Saffron Crocus flower). Actually, saffron is the stigma of this flower. One Crocus Sativus flower has only three red stigmas, and it is the female part of the flower. This stigma is not very weighty, so we need 60,000-90,000 Crocus Sativus flowers to produce one pound of saffron. It is the main reason for this high price. Planting Crocus Sativus is not easy work. Crocus Sativus is a very sensitive flower, and there are unique treatments for it. 
Saffron Flowers
Saffron Flowers Planting
  • As mentioned above, the saffron flower needs its unique treatments. All of these treatments should do by hand works. So we need laborers for that. They have to pick the stigma and dry it. Laborers should do it very carefully because they must avoid damaging the other parts of the plant. We need many laborers for it, and it is another reason for this high price of saffron.
saffron flowers
Crocus Sativus Flowers
  • Saffon has many usages like as a medicine, dye, spice, herb and also as a cosmetic. Saffron is rich in some rare natural chemicals like Picrocrocin, Crocin, and Safranal. All of them are really expensive chemicals and high in medical importance. Because of these reasons Saffron has a good demand in the market because of these valuable chemicals.
Saffron Stigmas
  • Saffron is very sensitive on every side, and it needs its own climate conditions to grow well. Morning is the preferred time to harvest saffron because sunlight can break the chemical structure of saffron. The main supplier of the saffron is Iran because arid fields and climate of Iran are suitable for saffron. Actually saffron native to Mediterranean, Southwest Asia, and Iran. Another special point about saffron is it has massive resistance against cold weather.
Crocus Sativus flowers
Crocus Sativus Flowers

Those are the reason behind the massive price of saffron. Now you will feel some excuse about this expensive price of saffron.

Not only Iran today saffron grows in India, Afganisthan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, France too. But about 90% of the saffron mass in today’s world produce in Iran. The United States also grows saffron today, but it’s a little bit because the United States hasn’t a suitable climate for that. 

Saffron taste is totally different from other spices, and it has a fantastic feeling. Not only taste it’s smell also very lovely.

According to my tasting experiences, I believe that everyone should taste saffron at least one time of their lifetime. Surely you will not worry about the price because saffron has a wealthy taste for that wealthy price.

Natural Cardamom as a Spice

What Are The Secrets Of Cardamom Taste And Smell?

Cardamom is one of the ancient spice which has two main types. They are Black Cardamom and Green Cardamom. There is also another type of cardamom name as white cardamom, but actually, it is a bleached version of green cardamom. Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world and surpassed in price per weight only by Vanilla and Saffron. What will be the secret of cardamom taste?

Whats like the taste and smell of cardamom

Cardamom has a memorable flavor and smell. It has a spicy, herbal, strong, warm, mint flavor, and it’s quite a complex flavor. There is no one to compare with its taste.

Green cardamom is the top choice for sweet dishes, but it is also suitable for savory dishes. Black cardamom is the most suitable cardamom variety for savory dishes because it has a smokier and earthier flavor. White cardamom, the bleached version, has less flavor.

Not only taste, but cardamom also has an intensely, smoky, aromatic, resinous smell. Black cardamom especially has this smell because the black one is more earthy and smoky than the green one.

Ones you taste and smell the cardamom, surely you’ll be addicted to it.

Green and Black Cardamom
Main two types of Cardamom

Cardamom Nutrition facts

Cardamom has several nutrition facts like vitamins, minerals, some fiber, and also very low in carbohydrates and calories. According to researches, one tablespoon of cardamom has the following quantities of nutritions.

  • Calories: 18
  • Total Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4.0 grams
  • Fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Potassium: 64.9 milligrams
  • Calcium: 22.2 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.81 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 13.3 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 10.3 milligrams

Medical benefits of cardamom

Cardamom is a spice that has so many medical values. People use cardamom as a supplement for their health benefits. This great spice has the following health benefits.

  • Cardamom oil able to kill bacteria and fungi
  • Suitable to prevent high blood sugar and high cholesterol
  • Cardamom helps to boost heart health and reduce heart diseases
  • Anyone can use as a breath freshener
  • According to Ayurvedic medicine, green cardamom can increase liver health
  • Cardamom has the ability to fight with diseases such as cancer
  • Natural nutrients can help with digestive ailments

Because of these benefits, people use cardamom with their cooking, and also cardamom tea is a popular drink among some people.

If you want, you can buy cardamom capsules or tablets list a dosage of 400–500 mg of dried herb per pill.

Cardamom Tea
Cardamom use as a drink

Risks and side effects of cardamom

There are no reported side effects or risks because of the usage of cardamom.

Using cardamom as a spice or a drink is safe for most people.
But you should know if you have any allergies or gallstone complications with cardamom.

From where cardamom come to us

Most of the time, cardamom grows in Asian countries. According to records, cardamom is a native plant in South Indian forests.

Today it also grows in other countries like Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indo China, and Tanzania. Today they deliver them worldwide.