Monday, June 25, 2012

Black pepper -Piper nigrum, Sri Lanka

Black pepper - Pepper nigrum, the woody creeper
The yellow flower stalk and berries on the tree
The harvested berries awaiting drying in the sun when they will wrinkle up and turn b lack

Black pepper, 'Gammiris' -S, 'Milaku' - T, has been an export from Sri Lanka from ancient times. The term 'Gammiris' means 'Gamey Miris' translating as 'village-grown pepper'. This is to distinguish it from 'Kochchi Miris' brought from 'Kochin, Goa' during Portuguese times in the 16th Century Present Era. This latter was initially brought from South America by the Spaniards. It was introduced by the Portuguese to South Asia. The value of pepper in Europe in Medieval times could be gauged by the fact that a few pounds of it was worth a King's ransom.