Peppercorns can be used whole, or crushed or ground to add heat and flavour to cooking. Used whole, they can be added loose to stews and soups or used as part of a bouquet garni. You'll often find whole peppercorns spicing up salamis or sausages. Freshly ground or crushed black pepper adds a flavour of its own to dishes, as well as enhancing the taste of other ingredients. Lightly crushed or cracked peppercorns can be used to spice up creamy sauces or to coat fillet steaks or chicken breasts. The light crushing releases the fragrant spiciness; using ground pepper in this way would just release too much heat.
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