Black Pepper and Peppercorn

I used to think I didn’t really like black pepper.

Then years ago I was visiting friends (Cathy and Todd) in NYC on my birthday and they made dinner for my birthday. It was steak rolled in coarsely ground black pepper (just the sides of the steak).  To my surprise and relief it was good!  And it clued me into this…

I don’t like the finely ground black pepper you buy in stores.

To me it’s different and missing the quality of freshly ground black pepper. Maybe it’s just lower quality or quickly loses it’s smell and flavor once that finely ground. No doubt I have store bought spice mixes that have finely ground black pepper and that’s fine but for me when pepper is the main flavor I want it freshly ground and when cooking I always use a pepper grinder to get however much pepper I need.

These days you can buy small pepper grinders filled with peppercorns and they aren’t expensive.  I’ve even seen them at the dollar store so it’s affordable. With a little effort many of them have tops that can be taken off when they are empty and you can refill them and push the top back on.  You have to pull and twist to get the tops off.  I’ve seen YouTube videos where they soak the top in hot water first to make it easier.  I haven’t tried this.  If I do I’ll post about it or make a video.