Somewhere in the discussion around my little time-lapse experiment a person concluded that “this guy should get a life“. If you are dedicated, patient, accurate and serious about what you do this is a boring comment to get, because you get it all the time. Especially if you are very interested in one single subject. I don’t mind to be called a geek or a nerd. Simply because I am a geek and a nerd. Still, I’m interested in more than time-lapse photography…
Thanks to several celebrity chefs and huge amounts of books, we know that if you want salt in your dish it has to be sea salt from Maldon in England or from Camargue in France. Of course all ingredients are important and there is a difference. But choosing the right black pepper is more important.
I find it strange that these chefs mainly talk about one thing when they add this spice: pepper has to be freshly ground. That’s the nobrainer. Yes, you can take the glasses and small bags of pre ground pepper you have at home and trash them at once. I was actually very happy when I saw that my favourite food coloumnist, Andreas Viestad wrote about pepper in his last article (norwegian).
So, start by buying yourself a good grinder and always buy whole pepper. Good grinders include the ones from French Peugeot (yes, the car manufacturer) and German Zassenhaus. I am sorry, the American William Bounds is of excellent quality but the construction is no good if you use really fresh and high quality pepper. The large amount of essential oils in high quality pepper clogs the William Bounds grinders. Still, he has an excellent product that I’ll mention later.
Because I’m a geek and a nerd I can’t just stop here. Freshly ground is OK but you also need high quality.
Some of the best peppercorns are grown in India. Unfortunately, all the speciality shops I have visited in Oslo only talk about “black pepper”, not what kind of black pepper. So I have to buy my pepper when travelling. I have just returned from the US. One of the countries where I always buy my favourite black pepper, the Tellicherry. I find it at Williams Sonoma in the US and at the Fauchon in Paris, France.
Compared to low quality “black pepper” from the supermarket this one is extremely pungent and with complex aromas. If you can’t get the Tellicherry pepper try to get hold of Malabar.
Having a life is a very personal thing that nobody else but you can control. Being this geeky about my pepper will for sure earn me even more “you need a life“-comments. But who cares? …and for the useful product from William Bounds. The nutmeg grinder:
It’s simply excellent.