Pink pepper belongs to the Anacardiacee family and comes from Peru. It is interesting to know that pink pepper is not really a kind of pepper, but a fruit. The name is based on the similarity between the fruits, but pink pepper has a completely different structure and taste. It grows on evergreen trees known as Peruvian pepper tree, with aromatic leaves and clusters of pink fruit that are then dried. During the drying process, the skin can crack and separate, revealing seeds that are brown-pink in color.
Pink pepper trees are extremely adaptable and invasive; therefore, its cultivation is controlled in some countries in order to protect the existing flora. It can grow up to 15 meters in height, and its upper branches tend to hang down. The flowers are small, white and abundant, while the fruits are round. The skin, leaves and berries of pink pepper are more aromatic when broken.
Although they taste like pepper, pink pepper is from the cashew family, so people that have an allergy to nuts have to watch out because it is possible for them to get an allergic reaction after consuming pink pepper. The taste is aromatic and sweet, more than hot or spicy. Pink pepper pairs ideally with Juniper, making it the ideal supplement for a gin and tonic. It also goes well with herbs like mint and rosemary. Other than the food industry, pink pepper is also used in the perfume industry due to its specific scent, which is closer to the scent of roses than pepper.
Pink pepper is used in the preparation of fish dishes, risottos, meat, vinegar and wine, and because of its intense color, it is often used when decorating desserts and chocolates. It is often sold mixed with green and black pepper due to its appealing visual appearance.
It has great natural properties such as being a diuretic, antiseptic and disinfectant. Pink pepper is often used in cases of rheumatism, bronchitis, menstrual spasms and urinary tract infections. In Peru and Chile, people chew pink pepper as an easy remedy for colds, coughs and asthma.