RelEasing the flavouR
There's no arguing that pepper is best when freshly ground. It creates a crisper and fuller flavour. All of the complex essential oils and aromatic spiciness from piperine is released, helping bring a meal to life. And the very best way to grind black pepper is in a professional quality mill. Ceramic grinders are a great choice – tough, easy to clean and non-corrosive. But generally, most pepper mills can be adjusted to give you the fineness of grind that you need.
If you just want to crack or bruise the peppercorns, a pestle and mortar does the job well. This is ideal if you want to retain more of the essential oils for rubbing on meat.
Unlike pre-ground pepper, whole black peppercorns have a decent shelf life of three years if stored in a tightly sealed container. But remember, once ground, peppercorns very quickly lose their potency so use as soon as possible. Our top tips are to buy in smaller quantities, rotate carefully and be ruthless about best before dates.
KeEP IT FReSH
Whole black peppercorns will last up to three years stored in a tightly sealed container, but once ground they quickly lose their essential oils that lend flavour to the heat.
Buy in smaller quantities, rotate carefully and be ruthless about best before dates.