Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. 1 The plant (taxlink Piper nigrum species noshow=1). 2 The dried, unripe berries (peppercorns) of the ''Piper nigrum'' plant which are commonly used as a spice and seasoning. They are either used whole, or in a ground or crushed form.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. When fresh and fully mature, it is approximately in diameter, dark red, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (ripe fruit seeds).
Black pepper is native to south India and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently, Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world's Piper nigrum crop as of 2013.
Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a traditional medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to cuisines around the world. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine, not to be confused with the capsaicin characteristic of chili peppers. Black pepper is ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning and is often paired with salt.
Usage examples of "black pepper".
One of them was filled with olive oil and crushed garlic, and another had salt mixed with black pepper.
Place flour, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in paper bag and shake to combine.
It also had black pepper, red pepper, white pepper, and Eastern red pepper (which I thought showed extraordinarily good taste).
The fruits as found in commerce are small nearly globular berries, about 3/10 inch in diameter, somewhat like black pepper in appearance, with a rough and brittle surface and crowned by the remains of the calyx teeth, surrounding the short style.
For centuries the price of black pepper was fixed, all across Europe, at its own weight in gold, ounce for ounce, and not everybody's going to have thought of hoarding pepper.
Two mutton chops, three potatoes, some split peas, a little flour, two ounces of butter, a pinch of salt, and all this black pepper.