Harvesting Schinus Peppercorns
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: George McNeal
Posted on: April 04, 2004

Can you please tell me when and how corns are prepared from the brazil pepper tree?

The Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius) grows in many tropical countries but the French colony of Reunion in the Indian Ocean is the best known source of the pink or red peppercorns.

The fruits or ‘peppercorns’ are known technically as ‘drupes’, having a thin, leathery pulp and 1-2 seeds. They are harvested as they turn red and before they turn black. Because the fruits do not turn red uniformly, it is necessary to harvest the fruits in succession as they ripen. They are dried in the sun. Once dried they are ground and used much like black or white peppercorns (Piper nigrum).

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