The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

08 November 2011


We're about to harvest peppercorns again, it's that time of year when the vines are drooping with this all-important spice that were among those that triggered explorations in the 15th and 16th centuries. We in the tropics kinda take spices like this for granted, just as ginger which gives immense flavor to a lot of dishes we regularly eat.

And I only learned when I had the farm already that white pepper and black pepper comes from the same peppercorn, except they're just picked at different stages. If you pick them while they're green, just as how the berries above look like, you can either consume it fresh while tasting mild and fruity or dry it for some days then crush it and mix with olive oil or brine.

When you pick them instead some weeks later, just when it's about to turn red, leave them to dry until they shrivel and turn black (right). When you grind it on a peppermill, you'll get black pepper, the most flavorful of all.

On the other hand, if you missed out picking some and they've turned ripe and red on the vine, you can soak the berries in water with salt for some days. This will dissolve the outer shell and will effortlessly make the white inner seed come out. Leave it to dry and it becomes white pepper when it's ground.


  1. It's been a continuous learning experience, and each time there's a discovery that's bound to appear...