You’ve probably put pepper on your food thousands of times. But did you ever realize that it comes from a fruit?
Black pepper comes from a shrub that grows in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. The shrub is a climbing plant that climbs up tree trunks the same way that ivy does.
Workers pick the small fruits of this plant and dry them out until they shrivel up into tiny peppercorns. White pepper comes from the same plant, but it’s made from ripe fruits instead of from dried fruits. Other kinds of pepper, such as cayenne pepper, come from different plants.
Singapore, a port in Southeast Asia, is the capital of the pepper trade. Pepper now accounts for about a quarter of all the world’s spice trade.