Black pepper sounds similar to a bell pepper right! But they are not the same.
Black pepper is the most common spice used all around the world specifically in western cuisine to enhance the flavour more.
People having allergies to nightshades might also be confused regarding black pepper as it seems to be under the nightshades group!
Well! You will get the answer here.
No, black pepper isn’t a nightshade.
The word ‘pepper’ in black pepper has nothing to do with bell peppers or chilli peppers.
The Latin name of black pepper is Piper nigrum due to which only one nightshade can confuse you, that is Solanum nigrum. But Solanum nigrum which is nightshade is poisonous whereas Piper nigrum i.e. pepper isn’t poisonous.
Both the plants have blackberries in common but one is poisonous and the other is a popular spice used in various dishes.
You may be wondering that if black pepper has nothing to do with bell peppers and it also doesn’t come under nightshades then why it has been named similar to them. The reason why it has been named black pepper is just that the berries become black once they get dry out and that’s how it was named.
While the fresh green pepper and raw peppercorns are not dried out. They are mild enough and can be easily chewed along with the food.
Well! You should also be clear about nightshades and here’s some information regarding what nightshades are!
Nightshades are the common name of all the plants which belong to the Solanaceae family. There are more than 2000 varieties of plants in this group. It’s a very large family and surprisingly we eat many of them or use them for decoration purposes.
These are the most commonly used nightshades and you might be familiar with them, but certain plants in this category are poisonous and not used for cooking purposes.
Some people belonging to several cultures show severe reactions to the alkaloids in nightshades and due to this, they have to avoid them.
Many cultures are completely fine with consuming nightshades and some cultures just can’t consume them at all from the get-go.
This happens due to the alkaloids present in nightshades that affect the gut linings.
People with IBS or any other intestinal or digestive issues can’t eat some nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers because they may trigger vomiting, gastritis, diarrhoea, nausea or can create even more severe problems.
After eating tomatoes or tomato sauce, one of the most common reactions takes place in the stomach which is acid reflux. This grows in the stomach as time goes on or can be present from an early age too.
Combining onions with such nightshades can worsen the conditions as onion is acidic in itself and if they are paired with tomatoes can be too much for some cultures.
This is the biggest reason for the confusion as pepper and peppers mean the same thing at a certain level.
But pepper in bell peppers and chilli peppers are one thing and pepper in black pepper is different.
Pepper in black pepper doesn’t mean that it belongs to the pepper family. Remember that it was just named black pepper because when it gets dried out it becomes black and nothing more about it.
Another reason is that when it was first introduced to Europe, black pepper was already a very popular spice as it just enhances the flavours of any dish.
Also, the term ‘pepper’ referred to any spice that was hot and spicy, no matter what it truly was.
While black pepper isn’t a nightshade but bell peppers and chilli peppers are nightshades indeed. Nightshade is a vast family.
Peppers come under the Solanaceae family, the species namely Capsicum genus and the Capsicum annum.
But every variety such as a bell, piri piri, birds eye, jalapeno is different cultivation.
Black pepper has a natural irritant which is called piperine.
Some of you may be wondering how pepper gets its heat and spiciness without being nightshade.
Its heat is mostly felt on the tongue area and can also get a bit bitter if you make use of it too much.
Also, there’s a different flavour that piperine holds that is especially noticeable in freshly ground black pepper.
Overall, pepper and peppers have different heat and spiciness loaded in them yet peppers are milder and easily consumable.
Remember that dash of grounded black pepper may take your dish to a next level, just like in white sauce pasta.
Well! If you have nightshade allergies then don’t worry black pepper won’t trigger you as it isn’t nightshade. You may have got your answer.