Cooking is the beauty of weaving together aromatics, flavors, and aesthetics. Spices create the magic that enhances food on each of these levels. One of the most valuable and sophisticated spices is the peppercorn. Peppercorns are culinarily intriguing, as they come in a variety of colors and flavor profiles. They are a beautiful and rich spice to include in practically every dish.

The Spice Academy has created a colorful and delicious five-peppercorn blend that will bring excitement and warmth to any food it is paired with. The peppercorns in this unique blend are individually aromatic and flavorful, but together they combine to create a bold and robust profile.

The five-peppercorn blend includes:

1. The most familiar and widely used peppercorn is the black peppercorn. Ours are from the Malabar Coast, in India. This pepper yields a spicy and slightly earthy flavor profile. It can display hints of pine and cedar. It is bold enough to season a steak, yet subtle enough to toss in a salad. Black peppercorns are incredibly versatile and their flavors are essential to this pepper blend.

2. The most delicate pepper in this mix is the green peppercorn. This fresh and mild peppercorn is harvested well before it is ripe. The flavors and spice are just beginning to emerge and the taste can have a green, almost vegetative profile. This peppercorn is beautifully highlighted in sauces and with fish.

3. The pepper that is most often used for aesthetic purposes is the white peppercorn. This spicy, mildly floral peppercorn is primarily used to avoid the appearance of black pepper. White pepper is a bit earthier than the other peppercorns. They are a fully mature peppercorn with the outer shell removed, taking away the “black” pepper flavor. An excellent addition to sauces and soups.

4. The most beautiful pepper in this blend is the pink (or rose) peppercorn. Rose peppercorn is not from the same family as the other peppercorns – it is a berry from an entirely separate bush. Despite the biological difference, pink peppercorn is a perfect fit within this blend. The flavor is mild, yet acidic. It offers a touch of floral and sweetness. It has a peppery aroma and an incredibly vibrant color.

5. The warmth that is provided in this blend is not from a true peppercorn at all; in fact it is from the allspice berry.  Known as Jamaican pepper, the addition of allspice in this blend enhances the overall complexity. It offers touches of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove amidst the peppery spice. It enhances the sweetness of the pink peppercorn and offers that little extra flavor that leaves people wondering:  “What is that familiar taste?”

The beauty of this peppercorn blend is that it works. It works as a crust on a beautifully seared steak. It works as an infusion in flavored syrup. It works together with cream, butter and lemon to create a pan sauce. The soft floral tones of the red peppercorns enhance the earthiness of the white ones. The cinnamon notes of the allspice berries tone down the bold spiciness of the black peppercorns.

Excellent flavor, aroma, and aesthetics are all achieved with this lovely blend of peppercorns.