Pepe melange four colors: properties and benefits:

Pepper melange composed of green, pink, white and black pepper and are the fruits of the same plant. It is a tropical shrub native to southern India. Green pepper berries are harvested before ripening and then dried. They have an aroma with notes of herbs. To obtain black peppercorns, the berries are harvested green and then carefully dried with all the pulp and outer skin. To obtain white pepper, the fruits are harvested when fully ripe, macerated in water and then separated from the peel and outer skin. The berries of pink pepper are the fruits of the Brazilian pepper tree which belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, a family therefore different from that of the real pepper.

Origins and notes of history

Telling the story of the "king of spices" in a few lines is not easy: the pepper trade in many cases has influenced history, thanks to the ability of this spice to preserve the food from decomposition, starting with meats. Pepper, originally from India, arrived in the Western world about two thousand five hundred years ago, meeting the unconditional favor of doctors and gastronomes.

In the kitchen of Rome it entered many dishes, although sometimes replaced by the cheaper myrtle. So little was known about the pepper plant that in imperial times the legend spread that it was collected by monkeys, as the plant sprouted in places inaccessible to man.
The ancients, knowing only the grains but not the plant, they made the mistake of believing that white pepper and black pepper were two different trees. When pepper arrived in Rome during the 1st century AD, it quickly acquired fame and prestige. The difficulty of transporting it without damaging the grains with humidity made it precious, to the point of making it a bargaining chip comparable to gold. The struggle for the monopoly of the pepper market coincided with the fall of the Byzantine Empire; Venice, by controlling the Silk Road, became a sort of sole import agent and remained so for a long time, despite Genoa's attempts to contend with it for supremacy. .

Until the sixteenth century the use of pepper remained the prerogative of the upper classes, when, with the arrival of less valuable species and the opening of new commercial routes, pepper entered in popular culture becoming the irreplaceable ingredient that we still know today. Pink pepper is actually the fruit, with an intense pink color, of the Schinus molle species, an arboreal plant of the same family as the pistachio, native to South America and widespread here above all as an ornamental species. , Discoride, Galen and the other doctors recognized multiple properties: diuretic, appetite stimulant, digestive, pain relief, but no one mentioned alleged stimulating actions of the genital system.

This spice had a very high cost, thanks to its timeless conservation and the difficult sophistication it could undergo.
It represented a rare commodity with which vassals often paid tribute or ransom. The constant demand for pepper dominated the spice trade over the centuries, to the point of pushing merchants and adventurers to follow even the most dangerous routes. At the end of the Middle Ages, almost all the pepper trade in Europe passed through Venice.

Cargoes embarked in Middle Eastern ports were sold by auction in Rialto by special state officials, called "messeri del pepe". with the discovery of the "Vie delle Spezie" by Henry the Navigator, the market moved to Lisbon. Today pepper, in addition to being the most used spice in the kitchen, is one of the few substances to which medicine recognizes any aphrodisiac activity, by virtue of the congestive action exerted on the genital organs.


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