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Black Pepper is considered the 'king of spices' and rightfully so. Unlike its perennial companion, salt, which is easily available in any nook and corner of the world, the black pepper owes its origins to Kerala – a state in South India. Black pepper became an important spice that catalyzed much of the spice trade. It comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns. Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper. Black pepper has a longer shelf life than the white pepper.