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  • In 2021, spices give everyone a way to travel the world – the quality and origin of pepper attract increasing interest

In 2021, spices give everyone a way to travel the world – the quality and origin of pepper attract increasing interest

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 “One of this year’s food trends is to explore flavours from all parts of the world in the home kitchen,” says Magdalena Färemo, Paulig’s Knowledge & Insight Director. Diversity is the key trend in the use of black pepper. Consumers also want to know about sustainability issues and origin. According to Paulig’s sustainability promise, by 2023, all Paulig Santa Maria pepper will come from sources verified by a third party.

The exceptional amount of time spent at home has made people try new flavours and enhance cooking skills. “On the other hand, people are also interested in quick and easy cooking as well as familiar comfort foods that make you feel safe,” Färemo continues. 

Pepper is a spice suitable for a wide variety of foods. Experts at Paulig say that people in Finland are increasingly interested in the origin of pepper, and the way how the origin of the spice influences the taste. For example, Tellicherry, one of the most prestigious varieties of black pepper, comes from the well-known Tellicherry region in Kerala, India. 

The large pepper berries from the region have a fruity, intense aroma and give an exquisite flavour to food. Because freshly ground pepper has the best aroma, Santa Maria Tellicherry pepper is only sold as whole peppercorns. 

The interest in the origin of pepper is an indication of the generally increasing interest in sustainability issues: “Pepper is one of the most widely used spices in the world, and it plays a key role in sourcing of spices at Paulig. Pepper used to be among the only spices used in Finland in addition to salt, and it is one of the first spices to ever arrive in Europe. Sustainable production and sourcing of pepper are among the strategic focus areas in Paulig’s 2021 sustainability work. Paulig’s aim is for all black pepper products to come from third-party verified sources by 2023, that is, sources verified sustainable by parties outside the company,” says Lea Rankinen, Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Paulig Group. 

The current trend is to use pepper in diverse ways in everything from main courses to desserts and drinks. “For example, green pepper’s acidic and fruity flavour is ideal for pairing with sweet strawberries,” says chef Petteri Kanerva. “The characteristics of high-quality pepper include size, dark colour and aromatic scent, which intensifies further when the peppercorn is crushed or split. The thicker the skin, the higher the quality,” he continues.

“Peppers are perfect for Asian cuisine. Try black or green pepper for example with mandarins, or Tellicherry pepper with pumpkins cooked in the Asian style. The Chinese New Year is celebrated on 12 February 2021. For the people in China, it is one of the most important holidays of the year, spent with the family. You, too, can cook a Chinese New Year meal for your nearest and dearest with my recipes,” encourages top chef Tomi Björck

Tomi Björck’s menu, tailor-made for Paulig, is available for viewing (in Finnish) at: www.santamaria.fi/taste/the-asian-pantry

Black pepper: 

  • Black pepper is produced in Vietnam, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Ecuador. The most prestigious black pepper originates in Tellicherry, in the region of Kerala in India. All Santa Maria black pepper is sourced from India, because it meets the flavour requirements and is traceable.
  • Just like coffee, spices are cultivated on small farms.
  • Paulig’s Santa Maria purchases approximately 1 million kilos of black pepper on a yearly basis.
  • Black pepper is a berry, and white and green pepper come from the same plant, whereas allspice and pink pepper are from different plant species.
  • Paulig purchases all Santa Maria pepper varieties whole and grinds them in its factories in Mölndal and Saue.

Good taste is the key to change and at the heart of Paulig’s sustainability work

The food industry uses our planet’s limited resources, and the industry plays a major role in terms of the climate, environment and health.

“Sustainability lies at the heart of Paulig’s business and corporate culture. As a family-owned company, we take responsibility for future generations and the future of food. We want to offer new flavours and inspire everyone to make more sustainable choices that do not compromise the taste or convenience of food,” says Lea Rankinen. 

In spring 2020, Paulig launched a new ambitious Sustainability Approach with goals extending until 2030. The Sustainability Approach is based on United Nations’ Sustainability goals and has three focus areas: sustainable products & services, climate action & circular economy and a fair & inclusive way of working. 

Product information

Santa Maria Tellicherry Black Pepper
The aromatic, pure flavour of this black pepper is hot and warm with a hint of raw mushrooms. 
Tellicherry Garbled Special Extra Bold is the finest black pepper available. It originates in Kerala, India. The large peppercorns have a fruity, aromatic heat that gives a sophisticated flavour to food. This is your choice when you want the food to have an intense flavour of pepper without being too hot.

Santa Maria White Pepper
White pepper has a rich and warm aroma with slightly pungent fiery notes, with a hint of the scent of a cowshed and straw.
The ripe, peeled and dried fruits of the pepper plant can be used in all types of cooking and as a condiment.

Santa Maria Whole Green Pepper
Green pepper is fresh and acidic, with a hay-like herbal flavour with slight notes of chèvre and a direct and uncomplicated aroma.
Green pepper berries are harvested from the pepper plant while still unripe. Green pepper gives a fine aroma for example to stews, casseroles and steak.

Media contact:
Pirjo Hästbacka, Communications Manager, Paulig, tel. +358 50 356 8359

About Paulig 
Paulig is a family-owned food and beverage company, growing a new, sustainable food culture – one that is good for both people and the planet. Paulig provides all things tasty; coffees and beverages, Tex Mex and spices, snacks and plant-based choices. The company's brands are Paulig, Santa Maria, Risenta, Gold&Green and Poco Loco. Paulig’s sales amounted to EUR 921 million in 2019. The company has over 2,000 passionate employees in 13 different countries working around the purpose For a life full of flavour.