|The deliciousness of a dish usually depends on the proper use of these two key ingredients. It’s just not the same when omitting one or the other.|
We get some weird customer requests on Sunday nights. For the second time at the restaurant, I had a diner requesting for no black pepper in any of her dishes. I am not sure if it was the same diner(s) from the last time. If I remember correctly, I think the first “no black pepper” requesting diner said she was allergic to black pepper. Since I don’t know if it’s the same person, I am not sure if this second time was due to allergies or just a personal preference. Some people that are allergic to black pepper are not allergic to white pepper. But there are people that can be allergic to both. Sucks for them, I know.
This is the black pepper I use at home sometimes. I am almost out! See on the bottom of my almost empty pepper grinder? The different shades you see of the pepper are of the whole berries, seeds included.
Black pepper, which derives from the berries that are picked before fully ripening, has a stronger flavor. With white pepper, the hull is removed, leaving only the seed. Allergies may be towards the whole berry (as with black pepper) but sometimes there may be no allergic reaction when it’s just the seed (white pepper). The seed part has a bit of a milder flavor that people with black pepper allergy may or may not be allergic to.
It’s a dilemma when I receive unique requests like this because nearly every savory item has black pepper in it. The soups, sauces, dressings, among other things are usually made before service. And they all contain black pepper. For protein, it’s easy to just omit any pepper before firing it up. But what do we do about the bisque, the salad dressing, the brown sauce….all of which already contain black pepper?! To be on the safe side, they won’t get any of those things with their main dish. If they wish, we need to whip up an alternative a la minute. Things just gotta be substituted with whatever works, which may be a far stretch from the original dish and vision. But oh well, what can we do? We don’t want to kill anybody (even though sometimes we get the urge to).
Salt brings out the flavor of dishes. I can’t imagine most of our dishes (well maybe pretty much ALL) not being seasoned with salt. They would all pretty much taste like NOTHING! I can only guess that this table was of people that are not familiar with cooking and the importance of salt.