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Red and green peppercorns

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There are some recipes that call for different types of peppercorns like the common rib roast recipe that has red, green and black peppercorns. Do these colorful peppercorns contribute anything other than pretty colors? Can I just use black peppercorns?

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  1. They have completely different flavors. Red/pink ones aren't actually pepper. Green ones are unripe and very different from ripe black pepper. White are bleached black pepper.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Actually, white pepper is a fully ripened, de-skinned black peppercorn

      Yes, you can use just black. They all have a different flavor, but unless you are really paying attention, you might never notice the added complexity of the varieties other than black. I would at least encourage you to taste a freshly ground sample of each at some point so that you'll have that flavor knowledge.

      1. re: JMF

        White Peppercorns..........ARE NOT just "bleached" black peppercorns

        Both are "piper nigrum" black peppercorns are from unripe drupes and cured if you will,as are green uncured peppercorns,........white peppercorns are fully ripe individual berries

        decent general info http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/black_p...

      2. Red peppercorns are the fruit of the Schinus molle tree that is highly naturalized here in California and have quite a different (and good) flavor from the others.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._molle

        1 Reply
        1. re: OCEllen

          There are also Red Peppercorns "Piper Nigrum" .
          It is freeze dried or brined like Green Peppercorns are.
          I know I said it above but you are talking about what is usually called Pink Pepper.