Pink Pepper

illustration of pink pepper plant

Pink Pepper

(SCHINUS TEREBINTHIFOLIUS)

An oily and sweet pink berry - not a peppercorn

You might be more familiar with pink pepper as an addition to floral arrangements, where branches of the nicely colored berries are added in to bulk up bouquets, however, we think they really shine on the plate. They're often sold alongside black, white, green, and red peppercorns, however, this is a common misconception. They are actually the fruit of a Brazilian pepper tree and part of the sumac family (not the peppercorn family). It only dons the name because of the similar shape and size.

They are usually found dried and it's rare to see them pickled in brine, where they appear more green than pink. The colorful exterior paired with their delicate flavor make them a great addition to salads, seafood, poultry, pork, and game. Because of their soft nature they can be eaten whole or crushed or chopped with a knife.

Flavor & Aroma

Our pink pepper berries hail from Brazil, which is where they were originally grown and although they look like peppercorns and are oftentimes included in pepper blends, they are not part of the peppercorn family. Their flavor is sweet and acidic with a slightly resinous and fruity aroma. Some say they have a heat component, but you'll have to try and decide for yourself. It's a pleasant addition to spice blends, adding a level of sweetness without needing to use sugar. 

It's important to note that the berries are naturally oily, so they'll get stuck in your pepper mill if you try to grind them that way. This wetness is useful for spice blends though because it adds a level of moisture that helps bind the spices. 

Using them whole is also a great addition to salads, sauces, and dressing. Also, try adding crushed pink pepper to cocktails or as a garnish to chocolate confections. 

 

Origin

Native to Espirito Santo and Bahia, and other parts of Brazil and South America. Cultivated in Brazil and the French island of Réunion.

Harvest Season

The tiny white flowers that grow on this small tree or shrub each bear a green berry that runs reddish-pink when ripe in the fall. They are then hand-harvested and sun-dried, which is the most traditional harvesting method. Modern methods clean and dry the berries with machines. Once dry, the skin is brittle and can be rubbed off easily. 

Usage Ideas

1. Sprinkle pink pepper berries into your favorite cereal or granola for a sweet, slightly acidic flavor.

2. For a refreshing Bellini, stir in ground pink pepper berries.

3. Combine pink pepper berries with melted salted butter and maple syrup and drizzle over warm waffles or pancakes.

Other Pairings

Orange marmalade • Coconut rice • Apple coleslaw • Sherry vinaigrette • Shrimp dumplings • Mango chutney • Pork chops

Recipes Using pink pepper

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Pink Pepper
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