Whole White Peppercorn: At a Glance
Whole white peppercorns are the spicy seeds from the black pepper, or Piper nigrum, vines. This is the same vine that produces black peppercorns, but white peppercorns are left on the vine longer to ripen further than the black ones. The picked fruits are then soaked to soften their skins and flesh. After soaking, the fruit is removed to reveal the seed underneath.
White peppercorns are milder and less spicy than the black variety, as most of the pepper fruit’s heat is in its skin. The soaking process also adds a slightly fermented taste. White peppercorns are not as aromatic as black peppercorns, which is a relief for many people who sneeze around this more common pepper. The better quality the white peppercorns, the more fragrant they will be.