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Pink peppercorns have a delicate blushing red paperweight husk gently encapsulating a tiny brown seed. Though the berry's husk has an insipid flavor, its seed carries very distinct aromas of pine and citrus with herbaceous, floral and lemon-like flavors.
Pink peppercorn berries can be found growing year-round.
Pink peppercorn, botanically known as Schinus terebinthifolius, is not a peppercorn, rather the berry of the Brazilian Pepper Tree AKA Christmas berry tree or the Peruvian Pepper tree which is also known as the California pepper tree. Pink peppercorns contain the compounds Pinene, limonene, phellandrene, and careen which are highly volatile and easily evaporate and oxidize when exposed to air, light, and heat. Hence, these compounds contribute directly to Pink peppercorn's fragility. Unless foraged, Pink peppercorns are only harvested commercially to be sold in their dry state. Their fragility is a direct reflection of their market value. They are the most expensive "peppercorn" sold. globally.
Pink peppercorns can be used in a variety of recipes both savory and sweet. The presence of pinene in Wild Pink peppercorns opens up many avenues to make dishes more complex and harmonious. Optimal pairings include ingredients within the same aromatic sphere such as juniper berries, cinnamon. saffron, ginger, mint, rosemary and basil. Other complimentary ingredients include citrus fruits, dried rosebuds, bergamot, cardamon, butter, vanilla, strawberries, pineapple, lavender, pomegranate, cloves, lemongrass, cream, bacon, beef, chicken, white-fleshed fish and alliums.
Pink peppercorns are native to South America where they still grow prolifically. They prefer hot and wet climates, though where they do grow is not always synonymous with their favored climates. They have been naturalized throughout Western and Southern North America and the Pacific Islands. The Pink peppercorn tree's intense prolific nature has contributed to its invasive species status in regions throughout Southeastern America and the Pacific.
Recipes that include Pink Peppercorns. One is easiest, three is harder.