Spice – White pepper vs. black pepper


Other than color, what is the difference between white pepper and black pepper? I thought it was purely a color thing so that black pepper wouldn't ruin the color of, say, a white sauce. We tried white pepper in a few dishes and in all cases, they were wretched. (FWIW: one recipe was Alfredo sauce.) The only things I can come up with are:

  • There is a substantial difference between the 2 and we apparently do not like white pepper
  • There is not a substantial difference but we got a bad batch of white pepper
  • There may or may not be a difference, but the recipes we tried should not have included this spice

Which is correct?

Best Answer

They don't taste identical at all, and even more important, they don't smell the same. White pepper has a distinct "barnyard" odor. People do indeed use them when black flecks might be unpleasant, but in most cases I'd rather go pepperless or just live with the color.