FUN FACT! Pink Peppercorns are actually very closely related to mangoes (explains why they are so dang sweet and fruity)! They’re also not really peppercorns. Sorry (not sorry) to break the news, but although pink and black peppercorns have a similar flavor, that’s about the only thing these two spices have in common. The black, white and green peppercorns you’re used to are all from the same plant, Piper nigrum. Pink peppercorns, on the other hand, are the fruit of the Peruvian Peppertree, Schinus molle, which is related to the cashew--another spice related to a nut (remember how we told you about sumac and cashews?), whatta world!
The flavors found in Pink Peppercorn are complex. First, it hits ya with a fruity floral flavor, which quickly turns sweet, and finishes with that classic pepper taste you’d expect when hearing the word “peppercorn”--just with a little less heat! Interestingly enough, the Inca used pink peppercorns to flavor their craft beers back in the day. And, while we guess the recipes look much different nowadays, beer brewers are still using it today to pack a flavourful punch to their bubbly brews. These powerful little flavour punches can complement almost any dish. Their complex flavors make them a gorgeous addition to everything from ceviche and meat rubs, to chocolate and fresh fruit, and... pop tarts? Yep- check out our Strawberry Sumac Pop Tart w/ Pink Peppercorn "sprinkles".
Curious how these colorful little spice pods are good-for-ya? There isn’t a ton of information in regards to the health benefits of pink peppercorn, but it’s believed to contain an abundance of antioxidants. Though more studies are needed to confirm, it’s believed that many colorful spices, like pink peppercorn and sumac, are packed with antioxidants--meaning the pigments in these plants that provide such a bright, gorgeous color, are also providing the strong antioxidants to brighten up your body, too.
If you live in the United States, particularly in California, Texas, Florida (basically anywhere HOT), keep your eyes peeled for these beauties growing wildly. Pink Peppercorns are so sweet and beautiful that they have another berry impersonator - beware of its cousin, the Brazilian pepper, which is known to be irritating to stomachs and slightly toxic. While the berries of these two plants look very similar, the leaves look very different and it does not grow in all of the same places as the pink pepp, so you should be able to differentiate without much risk.
Grab some Spicewalla Pink Peppercorn to get those taste buds on this fruity train! Stay sweet and spicy friends!