The Common Spice David Chang Thinks Is 'An Abomination'

A well-stocked spice rack is key to producing flavorful, delicious dishes at home, and when it comes to choosing which spices will be used in the kitchen, chefs have their preferences. David Chang of Momofuku fame particularly hates seeing pre-ground pepper placed on kitchen shelves. 

At a time when pre-ground pepper can be fake, buying real deal peppercorns in their whole, untampered, and natural form can help you put together better-tasting dishes with confidence. The only plausible excuse for using the pre-ground product, Chang explains to GQ, is in a worst-case scenario. "Pre-ground black pepper is an abomination. The only time you should use it is if you've rented a ski house or a beach house and it's the only thing that's in the cupboard," he states. But if you do have options, that extra crackle of a peppercorn can add oomph to tonight's meal.

While having a pepper mill at home would be the best situation, you can also make do with peppercorns that can be purchased with a grinder built into the product you bring home from the store. 

Cracking fresh flavor in your kitchen

You can also use a mortar and pestle to grind those hard, round balls of pepper to add to your dish. Once you've built familiarity using whole peppercorns, a new culinary world will be at your fingertips. Choose from black and green peppercorns, or try including white or red peppercorns in your meals for a flavorful, warming spice. Chang admits to GQ that he isn't the most stylish guy, but the simple act of adding freshly ground pepper to a recipe can bring both finesse and unmistakable culinary gusto to basic and traditional comfort recipes like mac and cheese and crispy grilled cheese sandwiches

A fresh crunch of ground black pepper can also elevate summer fruits and bring out the natural sweetness of ingredients with hints of warm spice. Crack black pepper over a bowl of berries or top balsamic-coated pears with a light sprinkling before serving.