Throughout my culinary life, pepper has been an ingredient that I use regularly. I was aware of different types and varieties to a point, including Sarawak pepper and Tellicherry pepper and had sometimes used those varieties in food.
Black pepper, the fruit of a flowering vine (piper nigrum) is one of the world’s most traded spices with Vietnam being the largest producer and exporter, even though pepper is native to Kerala, in southern India. Pepper is a spice that has been used since antiquity, both as a traditional medicine and for use in food. It was so prized in history that it was known as “black gold” and is still one of the world’s most traded spices.