The Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper has a surprising number of health benefits to it. Black pepper aids in your digestive process by stimulating your taste buds in a such a way that your stomach knows food is on the way, and it’s time for it to increase its production of hydrochloric acid. By doing so, your stomach will digest the food quickly and thoroughly. When food sits in your stomach when it should be moving along to the intestines, you end up with heartburn or indigestion! It also serves as a diuretic. Adding to these benefits, black pepper is also an antioxidant and anti-bacterial agent. The outer layer of the pepper stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim, while enhancing the taste of your food!
The History of Pepper
Pepper is a native plant in India, and since ancient Greece was used not only as a seasoning, but also a currency. It helped stimulate the spice trade along with salt, another beneficial flavoring agent. It was also used to honor the gods, pay taxes and ransoms! Wealth in the Middle Ages, was often calculated by the household’s stockpile of pepper! Perhaps part of its appeal is that it could cover up food that wasn’t completely fresh as well as help in the digestion of this less than perfect dish! It still remains a major commercial crop in India and Indonesia.
How to Choose and Store
Pepper is available whole or ground into a powder. Buying whole peppercorns is far more preferable for taste as well as purity. In the past, the preservative of choice in ground pepper was a tiny bit of arsenic! We can’t say if this method is still used, but you won’t have to worry about it if you mill your own pepper corns just before use.
I keep a coffee grinder that is dedicated only to spices, so when I need a large amount of pepper for a recipe, I just grind
it in the mill – it’s fast and works great!
Steaks and pepper…. want a great recipe? You can use the steak seasoning available from Costco or make your own. Try this one: http://www.food.com/recipe/black-pepper-sirloin-steak-26238