Pink peppercorns are not peppercorns at all. They are the dried fruits of two trees native to Brazil (Schinus terebinthifolius) and Peru (Schinus molle). Nouvelle cuisine gave rise to pink peppercorns' popularity in the 80's as a colorful garnish or a part of a decorative blend of white, black, and green peppercorns.
|Popular 80's Gourmet Multicolored Peppercorn Mix|
|Schinus molle fruit and leaves|
|Schinus terebinthifolius fruit and leaves|
The Schinus molle tree is a common sight across California. You will commonly see them growing in groves around old Spanish missions in California. It was once mistakenly thought to be a California native before it was determined that Spanish priests and settlers brought the seeds from Peru and planted them. The Spanish prized the strong wood of the trees for use in making saddles. The long lived and prolific trees did indeed thrive in California's hot and arid climate. They have now become an invasive pest threatening native species in California, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Australia.
|A Schinus molle tree breaking up the sidewalk in San Francisco|
|Textured Trunk of Schinus molle|
|Gourmet Food Fad of the 80's- "Peppercorn Medley"|
|Sublime Pink Peppercorns adorning a Mint Stewed Fig nestled in Vegan White Chocolate Mousse atop a Vegan Cookie|