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Nov 14, 2010 09:26 AM

source for high quality white peppercorns

Our experience with white pepper has been very negative--there is a fetid odor which seems to be present in varying extent in all we have tasted; however, as some chefs, such as Joel Robuchon cook exclusively with it, we are reconsidering, as there are dishes that would look better without black specks.

We spoke a few years ago with a woman who was quite knowledgeable about the subject and explained that the problem is that the peppercorns are soaked in large ponds to remove their outer coverings; the lack of attention to the sanitation of the ponds results in the fetid aroma.
She also said that there are producers who do carefully attend to the ponds, and some soak the peppercorns in running streams to overcome the problem. At the time we were less interested in using this ingredient than we are now, so we did not take note of where we might look to find higher quality white peppercorns.

If anyone has a suggestion for where to look, we would be interested.

Ken K

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  1. penzey's. here is Seattle there are also good local spice markets, but I don't know where you are.

    6 Replies
    1. re: cocktailhour

      I am always satisfied with Penzey's too.

      1. re: magiesmom

        Ditto. If you live in an area that doesn't have a Penzey's store, they are on line as well.

      2. re: cocktailhour

        I haven't had any problems with the Penzey's white peppercorns either.

        1. re: teemo

          "any problems"

          Actually, very high quality, whole corns. Then again, I can go to the store and not rely on mail order; that may be the difference.

          1. re: gaffk

            Penzey's mail order is very good quality, also. So you can't go wrong, either way.

          Reliable source, fantastic price, choice of whole or ground and a very customer-friendly payment protocol.

          3 Replies