Last night I made hot and sour soup. It was the third time I have made it since discovering an excellent recipe for it some weeks ago. This time, I went to the effort of grinding white peppercorns for the finishing touch. Why is this worth the mention?
Growing up in London, ALL pepper was white and, frankly, I didn’t care for it much at all. It was too sharp for me, too peppery, I guess. It was not until I came to North America in the 1970s that I discovered the joy of freshly ground black pepper. When I was a lad, only the toffs, in their expensive restaurants, had black pepper — we of the working class had to make do with white.
When I mentioned this to the Everloving, who grew up in Kansas, she said it had been quite the opposite for her — only “posh” folks had white pepper.
Odd that something so basic should have such opposite connotations.