Growing black pepper for health and profit
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Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp
BLACK PEPPER is a spice packed with flavor and health benefits, and if you cultivate it correctly, potential profits as well. Filipino cuisine has been gaining recognition on the world stage, and just like any other cuisine, there are some secrets to it. One of those secrets is black pepper, known locally as paminta. Adobo, touted to be the country’s food icon, is one of the Filipino dishes that is seasoned with black pepper. The following are also liberally spiced with black pepper: pork menudo, afritada, pata hamonado, pesang isda, nilagang baboy, paksiw na bangus, and bulalo. This versatile spice appears in many forms such as powdered, crushed, or using the whole peppercorn itself. It’s been touted as the “king of spices,” providing a flavor profile of honey and citrusy notes. Black pepper contains the following vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and chromium. Black pepper, which comes from the Sanskrit word pippali and known in the science world as Piper nigrum, was once known as black gold. It has one of the longest histories as a sought-after spice, due to its ability to flavor foods, act as a preservative, and add heat to a dish.