Pepper is the dried berry of Piper Nigrum. This vine, which can grow up to ten feet tall, is indigenous to Asia. Pepper is actually a berry that is picked about nine months after flowering. Black Pepper, the spiciest, are the berries that are picked unripe. The berries used for White Pepper are ripened on the vine and soaked so that their outer skin is easily removed.
Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavor and as a medicine. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine.
Black Pepper is extensively cultivated in tropical regions. The quality of Sri Lankan Pepper is known to be the best in the world.