5 Best Black Peppers – Most Delicious Types (2024)

Marria Beklavac By Marria Beklavac

Black pepper, the king of spices, is a globally renowned spice loved for its culinary versatility. The worldwide popularity & availability of this spice and the depth & flavor that it adds to a plethora of dishes makes it a staple ingredient in different cuisines across all the continents. 

The local demands of every country are fulfilled by various brands that either source black pepper from domestic and international markets. 

The growing admiration for black pepper makes it available in various forms like ground pepper, whole peppercorns and specialty blends. 

Here’s an introduction to some of the best notable and delicious black pepper brands available in the market today. 

1. Tellicherry Peppercorns 

Tellicherry peppercorns are known for their superior quality and consistency. They are carefully hand-picked at peak ripeness to ensure optimal flavor and aroma. 

Their shelf life with retained aroma and flavor is longer when stored properly in a cool and dark place. This makes them a pantry staple for home cooks and professional chefs alike.

  • Origin: Considered to be one of the finest of the peppercorns, the Tellicherry Peppercorns gets its name from its originating city – Thalassery, a historic spice trade centre from the Malabar coast of Kerala.
  • Appearance: These peppercorns are larger in size when compared to the regular ones. They carry a wrinkled texture and are dark black in color. The darker the peppercorns, the more mature and superior in flavor. 
  • Flavor Profile: Tellicherry peppercorns are an absolute favorite of global chefs. They add a hint of citrus to the dishes with their fruity and bold notes. Though complex, the lingering heat produced adds a dash of spice on the taste palate. 
  • Best for: These peppercorns work great on both sweet and spicy dishes. Add them as a wholesome spice in marinades, dry rubs and Whole foods or grind them to perfection and spice up the stews and soups; the choice is yours. 

2. Munnar Peppercorns

Pepper cultivation in the Munnar region in the Indian state of Kerala contributes to the livelihoods of local farmers, artisans and communities. 

Organic farming practices contribute to the purity and natural flavors of these widely popular organic peppercorns.

  • Origin: Picturesque landscapes, scenic tea plantations, spice gardens and growing pepper cultivation in Munnar, the hill station of the Western Ghats brings these super flavorful peppercorns to the chef’s table. Cool climate, lush greenery and fertile soil make this location extremely favorable for aromatic peppercorn cultivation. 
  • Appearance: Uniform in size and high-quality characteristics like texture and rich colors, these peppercorns exhibit an exceptionally rich aroma when added to dishes. 
  • Flavor Profile: Spicy, pungent, and earthy, with hints of citrus and floral notes describe these peppercorns. 
  • Best for: These flavorful peppercorns can be best used in meaty grinds, steaks, porky rinds, lamb and dishes that require a balanced form of heat. Grind and sprinkle the powder over soups, salads, pastas and grilled dishes. 

3. Lampong Peppercorns

Lampung province in Indonesia has a long history of pepper cultivation. The farmers are popularly known to cultivate high-quality peppercorns. 

Lampong peppercorns are carefully harvested and processed to ensure optimal flavor and aroma. 

Their popularity in the export and import of international markets has contributed to the global recognition of Indonesian peppercorns as a whole spice.

  • Origin: These are high quality peppercorns cultivated in the Lampung region of Sumatra, Indonesia. The tropical climate and fertile soil in this region makes it a favorable location to cultivate these flavorful peppercorns. 
  • Appearance: Round in shape, these peppercorns are available in small to medium sizes and uniformly seen in brown to black colors. The more they mature, the darker they appear in wrinkled textures. Darker peppercorns are higher in flavors too. 
  • Flavor Profile: Bold, pungent flavor and aromatic qualities are characteristic of these peppercorns. They revel in earthy, woody notes with a subtle hint of citrus and a lingering, spicy heat when added to dishes.
  • Best for: These can be easily treated as everyday peppercorns in your kitchen. Use them as a whole spice or grind them to perfection, these peppercorns are perfect to add the heat and flavors to your dishes.   

4. Penja Peppercorns

Also known as the Penja white pepper, these are high quality peppercorns that are extremely flavorful, aromatic and heightened complexity. 

Penja peppers are an absolute favorite among those who prefer more subtle spiciness on their plate.

  • Origin: Unique volcanic soils and terroir in the Penja Valley, Cameroon brings these complex yet flavorful penja peppercorns to the world’s plate. Did you know that these peppercorns hold the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status? This means they are highly protected and thus guarantee their availability, quality and origin. 
  • Appearance: Average sized 5mm peppercorns with slightly reddish-brown hues, they are small and round in shape. They have a wrinkled or slightly rough texture on the surface and produce a creamy white powder when ground.  
  • Flavor Profile: Exuberating delicate aroma, the floral note in these peppercorns adds a subtle complexity to dishes. Their characteristic nature of not overpowering other flavors in a dish makes it a widely popular spice amidst chefs, food enthusiasts and worldwide gourmet markets.
  • Best for: Perfect for creamy sauces and soups, the penja peppercorns add lot of balance and complexity to the dishes.  

5. Voatsiperifery Peppercorns

Critically acclaimed as a prized possession of the Madagascar, the Voatsiperifery Peppercorns are highly aromatic in nature. 

They are the most favorite and sought-after ingredient among chefs and spice enthusiasts. 

  • Origin: They are considered a rare variety of the peppercorns cultivated in the Madagascar. Their versatility is known worldwide and thus their demand is high too. However, much to their characteristics, these Voatsiperifery peppercorns pack a punch in terms of flavor and are expensive. 
  • Appearance: These peppercorns are small, round, and sporadically shaped, with a rough and gnarled surface. Unlike other peppercorns that grow on bushes closer to the ground, the Voatsiperifery peppercorns are visually distinct and grow on vines that climb up tall trees in the Madagascar rainforests. 
  • Flavor Profile: These peppercorns are complex and multi-dimensional in nature and offer a very strong spicy kick to the dishes. With hints of citrus, pine, and a mild sweetness, the Voatsiperifery pepper can elevate the taste of both sweet and savory dishes. 
  • Best for: Voatsiperifery peppercorns offer a truly exceptional and satiating experience to the culinary enthusiasts. They work great on soups, stews, meats, seafood and sauces. Add a dash of this ground spice to cheesy and creamy delights, fruits and sweets to enjoy sweet delicacies. 
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By Marria Beklavac Owner
Hey there! I'm Marria Beklavac, a barista by trade and a cook by heart. My culinary journey started at 12, inspired by my grandpa, who first introduced me to the wonders of cooking. His passion sparked mine, leading me to a life where each meal is an adventure. In Terra's Kitchen, I blend my love for coffee with my zeal for cooking to share my culinary exploits with you. This blog is my space to share the joys, discoveries, and lessons from my kitchen to yours. Welcome aboard – let's cook up some magic together!