Peppercorns:pepper's name comes form the Sanskrit Pippali nigrum, which means "black spice". Peppercorns have a pungent, woody aroma and hot, biting taste. Black pepper is more aromatic, white is stronger and hotter. Pepper is the only spice that us used to flavor food before, during and after cooking. Whole or grounded peppercorns can be added to most non-sweet dishes.