Black Pepper and Other Notes

I put black pepper on just about everthing. Pasta, soup, salad, pizza — you name it. I love the stuff. Especially that of the freshly ground variety, expertly cracked by one of my prized possessions — a cherry mill by drum stick manufacturer Vic Firth. So you could also say that I like black pepper.

I wonder though, if there are adverse effects to ingesting large quantities of the spice. Plenty of studies have been done I’m sure — and perhaps I don’t want to know their outcomes. I’m sure it can’t be any worse than a few cups of coffee a day (of which I drink none).

Other Notes

  • It’s merely April and I’ve already had the worst sunburn of recent memory.
  • Had the pleasure of meeting up with Ethan and the visitng Dunstan this past weekend where we were greeted by a large fish on the sidewalk of a Boston pub.
  • For a recent project, I used a modified version of Brad Choate’s wonderful tip for Doing your whole site with MT. After seeing how easy it is, I’m going to start using this method more often (using the Category field to automatically create folders and files). Each entry becomes an editable web page, with all the available fields to plug into a single template. I should write this up someday. Too lazy right now.
  • The new version of iTunes is worth checking out.
  • Shaun Inman’s Inman Flash Replacement technique (IFR) is fascinating and promising. And further adds more reason for me to get a handle on Flash.
  • Keith sparked a very informative thread over at Asterisk* regarding the pros and cons to using XHTML Strict vs. Transitional
  • I’m happy to hear that The Sydney Morning Herald redesigned using web standards. Congrats to Peter Ottery and team.
  • And lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed Hellboy, going into it knowing really nothing of the comic. Ron Perlman was fantastic (and surprisingly funny — although maybe the character has a dry wit in the comic book as well).

33 Comments

  1. CCN says:

    >And lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed Hellboy, going into it knowing really nothing of the comic. Ron Perlman was fantastic (and surprisingly funny — although maybe the character has a dry wit in the comic book as well).
    Go out and get the Hellboy comics ASAP. You won’t be dissapointed. The characters and stories are well written and full of wit, and the art is the best thing since Jack Kirby.
    BTW – I have work for you if you are interested…

  2. Zelnox says:

    I prefer white pepper. It seems spicier. Black pepper smells good, but it isn’t spicy enough. Quite mild even.

  3. Mark says:

    I’ve gotten into the habit of putting not only black pepper on everything, but including tabasco as well. Surprisingly, I find tabasco works well in deserts also.
    Seriously.

  4. sean says:

    > Black pepper
    I thought I was the only one.
    Black pepper on just about everything. Recipes call for a pinch, I grind a few tsp.
    Mark – Tabasco adds a kick. A lot of deserts call for cayenne, paprika, or some other spice with a slight kick.

  5. waylman says:

    Lots of black pepper and no coffee. A winning combination in my book.
    So I’m not the only one. Although I have cut back on the pepper more recently while increasing the hot sauce intake, sometimes even mixing a few different kinds. If it doesn’t give me the sniffles, its not hot enough. Mmmmm.

  6. “I find tabasco works well in deserts also. Seriously.”
    Something like the vinegar-on-strawberries malarkey, perhaps. (Balsamic obviously, dahling.)
    I find it hard to go for a week without a spicy meal. Many say the garlic, ginger and chilli found in curries does wonders for one’s wellbeing. Works for me.

  7. kartooner says:

    I tend to use lots of black pepper in my soup (be it homemade or the ‘just add water’ variety).
    My wife, however, cautions me on my use of black pepper when I’m cooking for the family because she feels it should be added according to individual taste.

  8. ant says:

    I grew up eating black pepper, and other peppers/spices, on everything. I never knew that black pepper was spicy until university. Putting it on my food one day some body mentioned they couldn’t eat black pepper because it was too “hot.” I was in shock – I almost felt dumb for not realizing it before. It had always been “flavor” – like cumin or something.

  9. Bob says:

    I can’t believe no one has said anything about this yet, but…
    >I find tabasco works well in deserts also.
    Exactly for what would you use tabasco in the desert? Hydration?
    Or did we all mean “desserts?”
    (All in fun, really – I’m not a grammar/spelling freak, I swear.)

  10. Mark says:

    Thanks, Bob. Obviously I’m not a grammar/spelling freak either.
    Tabasco brownies and tabasco orange bunt cake are the best.

  11. brian says:

    re: sunburn. I too got a ridiculous sunburn in april (like a week ago), which was far worse than anything i got on spring break in the carribean (ironic huh, since i am in virginia right now…)

  12. Brian says:

    Freshly cracked pepper (and kosher salt) goes into just about everything I cook. This is the centerpiece of my kitchen.

  13. Mark says:

    You might enjoy this recipe that one of my coworkers cooked up not too long ago. Calls for anise pepper in the recipe, but I think we substituted fresh black pepper for it.
    Nigerian Pepper Soup

  14. Chris Gwynne says:

    For a recent project, I used a modified version of Brad Choate’s wonderful tip for Doing your whole site with MT. After seeing how easy it is, I’m going to start using this method more often (using the Category field to automatically create folders and files). Each entry becomes an editable web page, with all the available fields to plug into a single template. I should write this up someday. Too lazy right now.

    I know you can create categories with this hack, however is it possible, or have you tried creating sub directories upon it too?
    I’m not sure whether you can do this already, just quickly enquiring.

  15. nick says:

    For those poor (as in $$$) pepper lovers amongst us, I highly reccommend these peppermill thingys that look like the cheap glass pepper bottles but are filled with whole peppercorns (instead of the preground pepper) and have a plastic grinder cap (instead of a shaker cap). Yeah, that’s horribly vague, but you get the picture, no? I got some in a goodie-bag a a design convention not too long ago. Bueno idea! They also come in the Sea Salt variety. If i can find them amongst my cupboards, I’ll try to give details…

  16. Mark says:

    Of course, Nick, one could also just put whole peppercorns in a plastic baggie and hit it with a shoe heel. Think I remember seeing that in a Mr. Bean episode.

  17. Chris – using Brad’s archive template, assigning a category creates a directory — if you name your category something like: about/dan — then it’ll create the directory “about” and the subdirectory “dan”. I even used the keywords field to assign the filename, allowing for: about/contact.html, etc.
    Someday I’ll write all of this up.

  18. Chris says:

    I’m in the healthcare industry.
    It has been medically proven that the oils released when crushing black pepper is beneficial in preventing some cancers. It is important to grind the corns just before using as storing ground pepper results in the beneficial oils evaporating.

  19. Chris says:

    Sorry forgot this – some useful pointers.
    http://www.rockefeller.edu/food/reducingcancerrisk.html

  20. Chris Gwynne says:

    Thanks for the help on that Dan. :-)

  21. Matthew Farrand says:

    Black pepper goes really well with strawberries. The pepper enhances the sweetness of the strawberries and adds subtle new flavours as well.
    It might not seem like a good combination but it works.

  22. Abe Vionas says:

    I too loved Hellboy. It was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve never read the comics, but I thought the movie was perhaps the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen… especially relative to it’s emotional core. I’ve never felt as deeply about a love triangle as I did for the one in Hellboy. Anyway, it gets a lot of flack from some, but I loved it.

  23. Charles says:

    As an Indonesian, I like my food seriously spicy. Because of that, I use black pepper for the taste only, and what a taste it is! I usually use a mixture of black, pink, green and white which I think looks good, but the black takes up the bigger part.
    For a grinder, pick one that has the mechanics made by Peugeot. They’re the best and come with a lifetime garantee.

  24. Nilesh C says:

    Black pepper is an important part of the Indian diet. Being an Indian, I am quite aware of the medicinal properties of black pepper. It is carminative i.e. helps digestion, heats up the body (used more in winter here) and helps avert nausea. So the more you eat it the better.
    If you were to find a connection between black pepper and coffee, black pepper is grown alongwith coffee in India because the creeper provides shade to coffee plants from the harsh sunlight in Indian summer. :-)

  25. Just wanted to say that I also love black pepper and eat it on everything. Especially Italian foods.
    I own several pepper mills, loaded with different types of pepper, and use them often.
    I’m glad that I’m not alone in this!
    – Craig

  26. Tom Werner says:

    In addition to black pepper, I’m also a big fan of white pepper. It’s like pepper, only different! I think I remember a saying…something about variety being the pepper of life. =)
    I’ve always wanted a 20 inch pepper mill with multiple fineness settings. Can’t go wrong there!

  27. Anthony Gizzi says:

    I thought I was the only one…
    My girlfriend always calls me crazy for using some much pepper, but I just can’t get enough of it. As I was reading some of these posts it got me so hungry that I had to make my self a bowl of clam chowder (from the can :) and grind in some fresh black pepper!
    I just get enough pepper!!!
    -Anthony

  28. Naz says:

    Try our Malaysian sambal belacan!!! There’s no turning back after that, or you just run away cause it’s so hot!!!

  29. two fathomz says:

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=74
    too lazy to read all the comments, definately not an unhealthy choice.

  30. sean says:

    A Brief Primer on Black Pepper
    Dan, I think you will like this.

  31. Kees Sanders says:

    If you like pepper (and who doesn’t?) you should try my certified (BCS) organic black pepper from Ecuador. Let me know if you would like some! (don’t know the rules of this forum, but if you want more info, let me know via email. If I have overstepped the line – my sincere appologies…).
    Kees

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi ya !!!!!! i jjuussttt love peper
    so what is it you do your a pepper miner? is that right?
    well anyway i have to go bi now!
    wait, i want to buy some pepper and if you no where i can get some call me or e mail me at:
    e mail: ac/dc_pepper_lover@hotmail.com
    phone #: (416)-422-9624
    by: Jenny McMopp

  33. ricky says:

    my mom sed she read an article on black pepper saying its bad for your health.
    it raises ur blood sugar and pressure.
    im a pepper “freak” lik u guys and think shes totally wrong.
    anything i can show her though?