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Black pepper

Black pepper is a seasoning produced from the dried fruit of the plant Piper nigrum. (The same fruit, prepared differently, also provides the white and green pepper used in some cuisines.)

It is one of the most common spices in European cuisine and its descendants, having been known and prized since antiquity due to its strong flavour and its ability, critical during the Middle Ages, to conceal the taste of partially rotten meat. It is said that Alaric the Visigoth demanded from Rome a ransom of gold, silver, and pepper.

Ground black pepper may be found on nearly every dinner table in some parts of the world, accompanied by its constant companion salt.

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