One of the earliest known and most widely used spices, pepper, the “King of Spices”, is indigenous to Kerala and was exported in large quantities from the beginning of the historical spice trade. Pepper was more expensive than gold in olden days and was globally accepted as a symbol of wealth, affluence and luxury.
Pepper thrives in warm and humid climate and is cultivated both in low lands and high ranges of Kerala.
Black pepper (Scientific Name: Piper Nigum): It is commonly referred to as “black gold”, is known as ‘Maricha’ in Sanskrit. Though pepper is cultivated in different parts of the world now, Indian grades of pepper known as Malabar Pepper and Thalassery Pepper are premium varieties exclusively cultivated in Kerala and boasts best aroma and taste.
Long pepper (Piper Longum), called ‘Pippali’ in Sanskrit, was the most valuable Indian export of earlier times. Long pepper was used as medicine in ancient Europe.
Pungent and fiery in taste, pepper finds use as a food preservative and has amazing medicinal properties. It stimulates digestion, relieves constipation and improves blood circulation.