Pepper has been grown in India for centuries. An indigenous plant of India, Pepper is also called the "King of Spices" because of its medicinal properties and its uses as a preservative and flavoring agent.The peppercorn plant is native to tropical evergreen rain forest of South Indian state, Kerala, from where it spread to rest of the world.  
  Pepper was a very important spice in medieval times and the Mediterranean traders who sold pepper to the countries of Western Europe, made fortunes through the pepper trade. Arab traders exported pepper from Cochin and other ports on the Malabar Coast of Kerala across the Arabian Sea on boats called dhows. The pepper was then carried by camel caravans to trading centers in the Mediterranean and sold to buyers, until it finally arrived on the dining tables of households in Europe. Even today the pepper grown in Kerala is considered to be among the finest pepper in the world. Two of the best-known varieties of pepper are "Malabar Garbled" and "Tellicherry Extra Bold." You can see pepper being grown and harvested on Kerala tours of the pepper plantations of Kerala with Kerala Backwater.  
  ┬áThe Pepper fruit, also known as peppercorn, is actually a berry obtained from this plant. Botanically, peppercorn belongs to the family of piperaceae and known scientifically as Piper nigrum.   This perennial vine and climber requires supporting tree or pole to grow in height. The pepper plant begins to bear small round berries after about three to four years of implantation. Technically, the pepper fruit is a drupe, measuring about 5 mm in diameter, containing single large seed at its center.  
  Black Pepper, Green pepper, White pepper:  
  Several color peppercorns found in the markets are nothing but the same fruit, which picked up from the plant at different stages of maturity and subject to different methods of processing.  
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