Malabar Black Pepper
GI Number – 49 & 56
Spice has been Kerala’s lifeblood for millennia, and the crop that has drawn traders from all over the world is Pepper. “Malabar Black Pepper” is an indigenous spice of the Malabar Region in the Indian State of Kerala.
The pepper has a special quality based upon the unique aggro-climatic condition of the said geographical indication. The applicant is a Commodity Board under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, to monitor and develop the Indian spice trade and to regulate and encourage the export of Authentic High Quality Black Pepper from India.
It is a certifying authority for the indigenous, quality pepper from various producers. The said geographical indication identifies and indicates the pepper produced in the Malabar Region of Kerala State.
Geographical Area of Production
The “Malabar Pepper” has its origin in the Malabar region in the state of Kerala.
Description of the Goods
The word pepper is derived from the Sanskrit pippali via the Latin piper and Old English pipor. “Malabar Pepper” is further classified under two grades – garbled and un-garbled.
The garbled variety is black in color, nearly globular with a wrinkled surface, the deepest wrinkles forming a network in the dried fruit. The un-garbled variety has a wrinkled surface and the color varies from dark brown to black. Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning.
The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is a small drupe five millimeters in diameter, dark red when fully mature, containing a single seed.
Proof of Origin (Historical Records)
Pepper “Piper Nigrum” has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. It was first cultivated on the Malabar coast of India, in what is now the state of Kerala.
Until well after the Middle Ages, virtually all of the black pepper found in Europe, the Middle East, and North America traveled there from India’s Malabar Region. Ports in the Malabar area also served as a stop-off point for much of the trade in other spices from farther east in the Indian Ocean.
Pepper finds a place as a medicine in Charaka Samhita. There are even many historical events linking the origin of pepper to Malabar coast. Malabar has always been considered to produce the best pepper.
Uniqueness of Malabar Black Pepper
- Pepper has a sharp, hot, and biting taste. It is a warming spice.
- It is one of the oldest and most important spices in the world. So important that in ancient times it was used to pay taxes. India has always reigned supreme in the production of this most exotic and sought after spice.
- The Malabar Pepper of Kerala provides a quarter of the world’s supply of Pepper.
- Malabar Pepper is highly aromatic, with a distinctive, fruity bouquet.
- Tellicherry Pepper from Malabar region is considered the most complex, balanced, and elegant of the black peppers.
- It is actually a special type of pepper which has been allowed to ripen completely so that it develops more flavor, sugar, and size.
- Its aroma is sweet and spicy. Its flavor is rich and bold. Malabar Black Pepper has a perfect combination of flavor and aroma.
Interesting Facts of Malabar Black Pepper
- Pepper is the number one selling spice in America.
- Scientific name – Piper Nigrum
- Pepper comes in many colors, green, black, red and white but all comes from the same plant, the color is related to how ripe it is and how it has been processed.
- In the Middle ages a man’s wealth was measured by his stock pile of pepper.
- The Romans would even demand pepper as a ransom when besieging a city.
- Pepper is native to India and grows as a tall vine with the peppercorns as flowering drupes.
- It has been used in cooking for over 2000 years!
Health Benefits of Malabar Black Pepper
- Sanskrit authors describe black pepper as acrid, pungent, hot dry, carminative, and useful in intermittent fever, hemorrhoids, and dyspepsia.
- In modern Indian medicine, pepper is employed as an aromatic stimulant in cholera, weakness following fevers, vertigo, and as a stomachache in dyspepsia and flatulence.
- Its action as a stimulant is specially evident on the mucous membrane of the rectum, and so is good for constipation, also on the urinary organs, externally it is a rubefacient useful in relaxed conditions of the rectum when prolapsed; sometimes used in place of cubebs for gonorrhoea; given in combination given in combination with aperients to facilitate their action, and to prevent griping.
- As a gargle it is valued for relaxing uvula, paralysis of the tongue.On account of its stimulant action it aids digestion and is specially useful in atonic dispepsia and torbid condition of the stomach.
- It will correct flatulence and nausea.
- It has also been used in vertigo, paralytic, and arthritic disorders.
- It is sometimes added to quinine when the stomach will not respond to quinine alone.
- It has also been advised in diarrhoea, cholera, scarlatina, and in solution for a wash for tinea capititis.
Malabar Pepper the Geographical Indications (GI) registry of Government of India in 2008.