Sunday, February 01, 2004


When I was at the supermarket the last week, looking to refill my pepper grinder, I found out two interesting things: 1) gourmet peppercorn blends often contain little true pepper and 2) those same blends can contain the invasive species Brazilian pepperbush (Schinus terebinthifolius). The bottle of McCormick's "Peppercorn Mélange" actually prints the scientific name of the plant in the ingredient list (You can see a photo of the product here). McCormick lists the berries, usually referred to in the spice trade as "Pink Peppercorns," as from the Island of Réunion. While the shrubs are cultivated on that island, which is located in the Indian Ocean, inhabitants are also apparently dealing with a major invasion. I'm going to try germinating some of the seeds from bottle I bought, and will post my results here in the ISW.

No comments: