November 13, 2015
I got a quiet thrill reading this 1974 Gourmet article on the current obsession with fresh green peppercorns. At the time the sizzling little spice was apparently flooding haute-cuisine restaurants. Why do I have no memory of this?
According to the article’s, author, Cleo Gruber:
“It was there all the time: That small, green, aromatic, fresh berry that eventually becomes our common black or white peppercorn was there all the time, but it took the Malagasy Republic to devise a method of canning and freezing it to make it available for consumption.”
She quotes Elizabeth David:
“The ideal way of using poivre vert, that right and proper combination of flavors, scents, and textures which one day will seem as inevitable as tarragon with chicken, vanilla in shuffles and ices, juniper berries with game, saffron and tomato in fish soups, has yet to be discovered.”
What’s missing from this article is any mention of green peppercorns in Southeast Asian cuisine. But then, it was 1974, a time when the food in that part of the world was not on any American’s radar.
Instead, we have a few interesting recipes. Brined green peppercorns, by the way, are easily available online.
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