Thursday, September 27, 2012

Black, White and Red Pepper?

Deciding on what type of pepper to use when you are cooking depends on what sensation you are attempting to get in your mouth.

It has been over 20 years since I visited New Orleans (pre - Katrina and Food Network).  One of the most memorable meals that I had was at Patout’s known for their Cajun Home Cooking. You know how I love home cooking!  I fell in love with the flavors that were so uniquely theirs. 

At that time I had no idea of how to create food that tasted like that. So when I discovered that Alex Patout had a cookbook that included the recipes for our exact dinner I was overjoyed. I brought home several cookbooks that I still reference today. But the one cookbook that has been my all time go to has been Alex Patout’s. His introduction and basics section taught me a lot and the recipes are easy to follow.  

In Cajun cooking they use a combination of black, white and red pepper to season their food. One of the most interesting and helpful things that I learned was how each of the peppers stimulate different taste buds.

BLACK PEPPER hits you in the front of the mouth slowly as you chew.

RED PEPPER hits you in the back of the mouth with a delayed kick.

WHITE PEPPER hits you in the throat with an immediate hot sensation.

This basic knowledge has helped me to understand how to use each of these peppers and the next time you are cooking with pepper you will recognize the way it hits your mouth.


  1. Great summary, I was searching numerous web sites to see if I correctly remembered how each pepper effects one's palet. You've got it right on the money!

    1. Mahalo, When I learned this bit of information it helped me tremendously in the way that I thought about how to use the three basic peppers in my cooking. Thanks for stopping by and for the thumbs up.