Pepper has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. Pepper is native to India and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE. J. Innes Miller notes that while pepper was grown in southern Thailand and in Malaysia, its most important source was India, particularly the Malabar Coast, in what is now the state of Kerala. Peppercorns were a much prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money. The term "peppercorn rent" still exists today.
The ancient history of black pepper is often interlinked with (and confused with) that of long pepper, the dried fruit of closely related Piper longum. The Romans knew of both and often referred to either as just "piper". In fact, it was not until the discovery of the New World and of chile peppers that the popularity of long pepper entirely declined. Chile peppers, some of which when dried are similar in shape and taste to long pepper, were easier to grow in a variety of locations more convenient to Europe.
After the Middle Ages, virtually all of the black pepper found in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa was from India's Malabar region. By the 16th century, due to the Portuguese influence, pepper was also being grown in Java, Sunda, Sumatra, Madagascar, Malaysia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but these areas traded mainly with China, or used the pepper locally. Ports in the Malabar area also served as a stop off point for much of the trade in other spices from farther east in the Indian Ocean.
Black pepper, along with other spices from India and lands farther east, changed the course of world history. It was in some part the preciousness of these spices that led to the Portuguese efforts to find a sea route to India during the age of discovery and consequently to the Portuguese colonial occupation of that country, as well as the European discovery and colonization of the Americas.By http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pepper#History
Beer Battered Fish And Chips
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups flour
1 (12 oz) bottle beer
3 large potatoes, cut into wedges or cut into strips
vegetable, for frying
In large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of flour and beer, stir well. Stir in salt, pepper and garlic powder. Season fish with salt and pepper. Dip fish in beer batter, then dip fish in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Place fish in hot oil. Fry fish for 4 minutes. Remove fish to a paper towel line dish, to drain. Serve with french fries or baked potato wedges. Enjoy!
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