Black peppercorns isolated on white background
Food - Drink
The Commonly Used Store-Bought Shortcut That's Weakening All Of Your Dinners
Black pepper is essential for counteracting other flavors with a hit of spice and bitterness, but store-bought, pre-ground pepper is a shortcut that diminishes this effect.
When whole peppercorns are ground up, their pungency is at its peak. As the spice sits, its flavor slowly oxidizes and dissipates until it's about as potent as dust.
Since the role of black pepper is to overcome strong flavors, pre-ground black pepper essentially serves no purpose, as its own flavor has been diluted.
Instead, buy whole peppercorns and store them in a handheld pepper grinder so you can pepper your meals quickly. It only takes a bit more effort than buying pre-ground pepper.