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Hidden Dangers of the Pink Peppercorn

Hidden Dangers of the Pink Peppercorn



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Do you have a cashew allergy?

Pink peppercorns are the ripe berries of the Brazilian pepper tree.  Despite their hollow texture, they do resemble black peppercorns and have a light peppery taste, even though they are not a true peppercorn.

These peppercorns are routinely used as a spice, mostly for seafood dishes, and may be combined with black peppers as they add a unique citrus component to many dishes.  They are very popular in France and as a result are in many French dishes.  They are also popular on fruits and desserts.

There are hidden dangers of the pink peppercorn, however.  What many people do not realize is that this berry is a member of the Anacardiaceae family, also known as the cashew family.  Mangoes also belong to this group.   For those individuals who suffer from a cashew or mango allergy, it is important to steer clear of this peppercorn.

Fortunately, the use of pink peppercorns is extremely rare.  Even more rare, are reported cases of allergic reactions.  Despite this, awareness and avoidance are keys to preventing allergic reactions.

When dining out, it is important to ask questions.  You can never be too safe.  Although some pink peppercorns contain an allergen label, many do not as they are derived from the family and do not actually contain cashew.  Ask specific questions and always stay safe.