Black pepper is perhaps the best-loved and most widely used spice in the world, adding both heat and depth of flavor to nearly any dish. It comes from the berries of the pepper plant (Piper nigrum), native to Asia, which also produces green and white peppercorns. Black pepper is the whole, partially ripened fruit.
Black pepper’s uses are almost endless. Some suggestions include coating meats with crushed peppercorns; adding pepper to warm beverages such as chai tea; sprinkling on freshly cut fruit for a spicy kick; and grinding pepper into a bowl of olive oil with balsamic vinegar to create a dipping sauce for bread and vegetables.
Black pepper is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin K, a very good source of copper and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, chromium and calcium.