Why Black Pepper Used To Be Considered A Luxury

As a spice, black pepper is versatile and can be used to add flavor to several dishes. According to Healthline, the spice is perceived to be very good for health. For example, it has plenty of antioxidants and may help your body process nutrients more effectively. It is also believed to work well as a pain reliever, along with a host of other health benefits. 

Plus, it can improve the taste of several dishes such as pasta, vegetables, fish, poultry, and more. A Redditor expressed how they feel about the ingredient when they wrote, "There are certain things that I absolutely have to have black pepper with, like soft scrambled eggs with mushrooms like my mom used to make when I was a kid." Another person wrote that they need to add black pepper to most dishes they eat. They explained, "Not only do I love it, I can't get enough of it. I can dump it on everything I eat and enjoy every second of it."

But guess what? While black pepper is quite easily available these days, it used to be an expensive ingredient at some point.

Black pepper's history is fascinating

According to the McCormick Science Institute, Ancient Greeks treated spices rather differently back in the day and valued them to a great extent. In fact, spices were considered to be so precious that they were commonly utilized as a "monetary source." For example, in Eastern Europe, people would pay using pepper in a bid to connect with merchants from London and build connections.

In Europe, when there was a shortage of coins, black pepper was commonly used as currency. You could even get away with using peppercorns to pay rent in some places and settle your taxes. Brides would be paid in peppercorns as dowry. 

Of course, as the years went by, spices like pepper became a lot easier to find and use. Plus, their health benefits were discovered and it became common to use them to spruce up dishes everywhere. What an intriguing history, eh?