I love pepper, not only for its pungency but also for its flavour. For me, it certainly is better pepper than Chili. What about you?
We cultivate pepper in our Hermitage/Ashram in Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu State in South India and we would like to talk to you about it and give you some infos on that green vine clinging to the bark of the trunk of our Plantation tall silver oaks trees giving us pungent small cherries known for millennia. By the way, the Pepper ONLY cling to the crackled bark of trees. It does NOT LIVE of the trees.
Who would have guessed that Black Pepper(Piper Nirguna), a flowering wine of the family Pipercaceae, cultivated for its fruits which are usually dried and used as a spice for seasoning dishes, is originate from the little town of THALASSERY or Tellicherry in Kerala, a Southern Western State of In India?
Is it a legend that Pepper was discovered more than 4000 years and cultivated since about 1000 years BC? It could be a bit exaggerated! However, it is true that Thalassery (or Thellicherry) was a very important harbour on the Malabar Coast from which Pepper was sold and exported in great quantities to Europe from long ago and still does.
Pepper has long been considered as a luxury and during a certain time was even used as money and or barter exchange. It was also called "black gold". This reference to gold was because it was sold at an exorbitant price and because it was in a very high demand against little availability.
It is still an expensive spice and though Vietnam is also competing with India exporting its own production of pepper in great quantity, its cultivation has spread in many parts of the World such as Java, Sumatra, Madagascar, Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Proof of its the ancient history of pepper is found in the nostrils of mummy of RAMESSES II as part of the mummification rituals shortly after his death in 1213 BC.
It was also known in Greece as early as the 4th century BC but, it was only for the very rich who could afford it.
We also find traces of pepper in its reaching the Roman Empire. Around 77 AD, in Pline the Elder's writing in his "Natural History" he complains that "there is no year in which India does not drain the Roman Empire of fifty million sesterces" due to the referring to the Romans buying a lot of Indian pepper!
For long in its history, pepper trading has been the monopoly of the Arabs, but, the Portuguese sea traders, the Chinese, the French and then the British who finally cornered the spice trade from India.
In terms of folk medicine, and because of its pungent strength it was used a lot in medications. It was believed that it could cure many illnesses. There are many different sources from the 5th century onward such as recommending pepper to treat eyes ailments by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye????!!!!
One thing is sure that pepper indeed causes sneezing. The cause of sneezing is still being studied to know why this happens.
Pepper is being studied for a variety of possible physiological effects on the body which to this day are partially remaining unknown.
Nevertheless, one tablespoon of ground black pepper has been found to contains moderate amounts of the following:
- Vitamine K, 13%of a daily value (DV)
- Iron, 10% DV
- Manganese, 18% DV
- and trace amounts of essential nutrients, protein and dietary fibres.
As I was telling you at the start of this article, we do grow Pepper in our Ashram Plantation in Kolli Hills the sale of which is very helpful in sustaining our Ashram financially. Therefore, do not hesitate in visiting our website www.natureandswami.com and place your order.
For Sales WITHIN INDIA, the minimum weight we sell has to be 100g to get a FREE DELIVERY
For Sales OURSIDE INDIA purchase a minimum of five (5) packets of 100g each to get a FREE DELIVERY.