Understanding which flavors work best together is an integral part of spice literacy. Much of this understanding comes from experimentation, exploration, and trial and error. As you learn what tastes good together, you can combine these flavors with simple cooking techniques to create exciting new dishes–without the tether of a pre-made recipe.

For a savory flavor profile, try:
peppercorn blend+lemon+olive oil
peppercorn blend+bacon fat+onion
peppercorn blend+oregano+sage+tomato

For a sweet flavor profile, try:
peppercorn blend+blackberry+cream
peppercorn blend+walnut oil+grapes
peppercorn blend+carrots+brown sugar

Pepper combines well with nearly every ingredient when used wisely, and is present in nearly every cuisine in the world. Use the lists below to start exploring cuisines, spices, meats, and other ingredients that go well with peppercorns.

Cuisines: American, Cajun, Creole, Chinese, European, Indian, Southeast Asia, Southern United States

Spices: allspice, basil, bay leaf, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, grains of paradise, lemongrass, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, salt, sesame, tarragon, thyme, tumeric

Meats: bacon, beef, chicken, duck, fish (especially salmon), game, ham, lamb, pork, sausage, seafood, shellfish (especially shrimp), steak, veal

Other: apples, apricots, artichokes, asparagus, beans, beer, berries, brandy, bread, broccoli, butter, cabbage, carrots, cheese, cherries, coconut, coconut milk, curries, eggplant, egg, grapefruit, grapes, gravy, leeks, lemon, lentils, lime, mushrooms, nuts, olive, olive oil, onions, orange, pasta, peanuts, peas, pickles, pine nuts, pineapple, potatoes, pumpkin, sauces, shallots, soups, spice cake, spinach, squash, strawberries, sugar, tofu, tomatoes, vegetables, vinegar, wine, yams, yogurt

Pepper is a tremendously versatile ingredient. Due to the variety of possible flavors, various colors of peppercorn will be better suited to different applications.  As you practice, you may find that you prefer a certain kind of peppercorn in a certain dish. Chinese cuisine, for example, primarily uses white peppercorn, while a sweet glazed carrot dish may call for pink peppercorns. Taste as you go, and don’t be afraid to “mess up” sometimes. It’s all part of the learning process!