Friday, November 18, 2005

What You've Probably Never Wondered

OK, so I knew that the spice trade used to be important. I knew that people would pay in pepper because it was so valuable. I even knew that Attila demanded part of his Roman ransom in pepper.

But here's the shocking little secret: I didn't really know what pepper was. Do you?

Well, here's the news: pepper is indigenous to Asia, but is also cultivated in India and China. Peppercorns are nothing more than the dried seeds of the pepper plant. Black pepper is ground from such peppercorns.

And here's where it gets tricky...white pepper is fully mature peppercorns but with the outside "rind" taken off pre-grounding. Green pepper is immmature ground-up peppercorns. AND there is PINK PEPPER, which is grown somewhere totally different, possibly from a different plant, and I don't understand it.

Mustard? (yeah, I'm a dork.) Mustard is really from mustard greens-- and the brown seedy things in Dijon are the seeds of mustard greens. There are black, brown, and yellow seeds-- the darker, the more pungent. Dijon uses only black and brown. Oh, and there is a Mustard Museum out in Mount Hores, Wisconsin.

Lastly: tea was not in Western European society until about the 15th century. I think William of Orange had it and liked it, but don't quote me on that one.

Mkay chickens. Fun facts for Friday.

p.s. someone argue with the medieval poster cos I just ain't that philosophical.

1 comment:


Have you been reading your Penzeys catalogs? I love Penzeys & you probably do too, by now. *kiss!* :)