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Supermarkets sell peppercorns with or without little grinders built into the tops of the jars, or as white and black pepper already finely ground.

Useful pepper words

poivre blanc: white pepper

poivre cinq baies (or 5 baies): black, white, green, pink and piment de la Jamaïque peppercorns, usually pre-crushed, although you can find it with the little mill on top of the bottle

poivre concassé: crushed peppercorns for grilled meats

poivre d’âne

poivre en grains: whole peppercorns

poivre moulu: ground pepper

poivre noir: black pepper

poivre rose (also known as baie roses): the ‘false’ pink pepper from Brazil, usually sold as berries, popular on salmon and foie gras

poivre sichuan (or baie de sichuan): Szechuan peppercorns (more and more available these days, even in the supermarkets).

poivre vert: green peppercorns (the soft, underripe berry that is usually preserved in brine). Less pungent than black or white pepper, most green peppercorns are destined to become creamy sauce au poivre for steaks.

Herbs and spices

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Gisela Francisco