Peppercorns (Piper Nigrum) grow on a shrub like plant and there are four varieties that are harvested by hand.
Black pepper is harvested once some of the fruit begins to ripen (turn
red). The green fruit is hand picked, sun-dried for two to four days and
then hand-sorted by size. Black pepper has a deep, strong and slightly
floral flavour with hints of eucalyptus and mint. It can range from
mildly sweet to very spicy.
Red pepper. The ripened red fruit is left on the vine for an
additional four months before being harvested, dried and hand
sorted. Red pepper is sweeter and less spicy than the black but its
flavour is more rounded, delivering a powerful fruity aroma
White pepper comes from dried red peppercorns. The fruit is
soaked in brine for five minutes and sun-dried. The outer skin is
rubbed of by hand to reveal the white inner core. This is the most
delicate of peppers and carries notes of fresh herbs and lime.
White pepper is used in French pastry and has even been used to
make ice cream.
Green Pepper can be harvested at anytime and is used as an accent
for many foods in Cambodian cuisine. The green fruit has a fresh citrus
flavour and is less spicy than the dried varieties. The fresh green peppercorns are rarely exported as they have a very short shelf life and are very expensive.