Peppercorn is basically the plant fruit that we commonly know as the black pepper. Its scientific name is Piper Nigrum plant and is basically a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family.
Of course, the plant is dried and is used as a spice in multiple cuisines all over the world in different dishes. It can also be used for seasoning at some points, but you need to have the peppercorn plucked right, when it is fresh yet fully mature.
The peppercorn or black pepper is being used for different cuisines and dishes in a variety of forms and it is simply hard for a beginner to understand the difference between them. They taste the same, and the only difference is between the texture.
So, while preparing any dish in the kitchen, you need to know precisely if you are going to need the whole peppercorn or grounded one to ensure that you can get it right. So, a few key differences that you would need to know before you can start preparing any dish are:
Whole Peppercorns vs Ground Peppercorns
Whole Peppercorn is obviously the whole fruit when it is dried and you can simply put in any dishes that you might want to prepare. Obviously, the taste is not that different than the grounded one, but due to the fact that you are using the whole fruit and not the grounded black pepper.
It might not mix in as good as the grounded pepper and you will need to be careful about that. Especially if you are creating some dish such as soup or sauce, the whole peppercorn might not be suitable for them as it will not be able to mix in evenly and if it is swallowed or chewed mistakenly, that will spread a peppery taste through the mouth and might not be appreciated.
But on the other hand, for the dishes with lesser amount of water in them, or for something that you are trying to fry, the whole peppercorn might not be the best idea to be used. That is why, you will have to ensure that you are following the recipes properly and that you have the right ingredients as specified on the recipe.
Whole peppercorns might not be a suitable option for some of these dishes, they are certainly a bit stronger than the grounded peppercorns.
On the other hand, these whole peppercorns are also grounded and turned to powder to be used in a variety of dishes all across the world. The black pepper has mildly bitter and peppery taste to it and you will be able to enjoy the best texture, aroma and feel on it.
Due to being grounded, a slight effect is lost from the whole peppercorns, and grounded black pepper might need to be used a bit more than the quantity of Whole peppercorn to get the similar effect on the dish.
However, the applications of Grounded black pepper are far wider than the whole peppercorn and you get to enjoy the right application on them. The grounded pepper corn might be a little less strong than the whole peppercorn but it is widely used to be added in the soups and sauces to add the right taste to them and you get to enjoy the perfect texture and aroma on it as well.
Not only that, but it is used for sprinkling and seasoning as well. That is why, you can get the grounded peppercorn all across the world in the supermarkets and all the departmental stores out there.
The grounded black pepper is not only the best substitute, but it is pretty easy to be used in different dishes as well. While you cannot use the whole peppercorn instead of the grounded black pepper, but you can surely use a little more amount of the grounded black pepper for the recipes that require you to use the whole peppercorn and you are going to enjoy the same aroma, texture and taste on the dish that you are looking to prepare.
If you are unable to get the grounded black pepper, you can simply get the whole peppercorn and ground it yourself to get the powder to be used for your kitchen.