The crucial etiquette rules on how to serve and eat green peppercorns. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

green peppercorns

What green peppercorns etiquette is

Green peppercorns etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat green peppercorns. Such rules help avoid behaviors that may disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow green peppercorns etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect green peppercorns etiquette rules to properly use it at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts.

What you should know about green peppercorns

Green peppercorns are a spice used for seasoning. They are obtained from the fruit of the pepper plant. Black and green pepper are obtained from the same plant, at the same ripening stage, but through a different process. Black pepper is obtained from cooked unripened peppercorns, while green pepper is from uncooked unripened ones.

rules to eat and serve green peppercorns and add them to a dish

Etiquette rules to serve and eat green peppercorns

1) How to store green peppercorns

Store green peppercorns at room temperature and in a dry place. Humidity spoils green peppercorns. Thus, do not store them in the fridge or freezer.

Keep green peppercorns in an airtight container. Contact with oxygen and evaporation causes green peppercorns to lose their aroma. Avoid direct light too, as it has a similar effect. Green peppercorns do not expire, but they deteriorate and lose aroma. It is best to consume them within one year from the purchase.

2) How to clean green peppercorns

You do not need to wash or clean green peppercorns. Water risks spoiling the aroma. The best way to avoid impurities is to purchase green peppercorns from trusted sources or brands.

3) How to prepare & cook with green peppercorns

You can use green peppercorns in many recipes. Such as soups, pasta, meat, fish, or salads. In general, prefer green peppercorns to black pepper when you need a lighter and fresh aroma.

Since green pepper has a less pungent and fresher aroma compared to black pepper, you can include whole green peppercorns in a dish.

It is good etiquette to limit green pepper when cooking. As a host, it is preferable to serve mildly spiced dishes and let guests add green pepper to their liking.

Some guests may be particularly sensitive to green pepper. Others may even avoid it for health reasons, such as intolerance or allergy. Before hosting a meal, it is considerate to ask your guests whether they have some dietary restrictions.

4) How to serve & present green peppercorns

Green peppercorns are not a necessary seasoning in dining etiquette. You can present them instead of black pepper or serve them to accompany a specific course. If you present ground green pepper on the dining table, you should pair it with salt.

Place green pepper at the center of the table, next to salt, so it is easily accessible to most or all guests. If you are hosting a large party, serve one green peppercorns grinder for every 6 or 8 guests.

It is best to serve green peppercorns whole. Pepper in grains keeps its aroma significantly longer than ground pepper. For the same reason, you should grind green peppercorns immediately before serving or eating a dish.

At the end of the meal, before serving a cheese course, fruit, or dessert, it is polite to remove green pepper and other seasonings from the table.

5) Foods & beverages to pair green peppercorns with

Green pepper goes well with many foods and aromas. It pairs well with beef, pork, chicken, fish such as salmon, or seafood such as shrimp.

6) How to eat green peppercorns

In general, adding seasoning to a dish risks disrespecting your host. It can signal that you dislike the flavor, or that the dish could have been prepared better. Thus, if you add green pepper to a dish, add it in small quantities.

The most polite way to add ground green pepper is by grinding it directly on the food. Apply it in 2 or 3 grinds maximum. Never add green pepper to food on a shared dish.

When green peppercorns are served whole in a dish, you should eat them. If you dislike them, it is polite to discard them on a side of your dish. However, it is polite to still make an effort and try to eat some.

green peppercorns etiquette mistakes

Green peppercorns etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst green pepper etiquette mistakes. 

  • 8/10. Adding green pepper in large quantities to your dish.
  • 7/10. Serving too-spiced dishes.

Additional information for properly serving green peppercorns

How many calories per serving?

Green pepper is very low on calories. A teaspoon contains about 5 calories.

How to buy the best green peppercorns

A crucial factor in green pepper etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Choose the best

Common green pepper is undifferentiated. However, it is best to buy it from reputable brands. When improperly processed, green pepper can contain impurities or lose its aroma. Furthermore, low-quality traders can mix green pepper with cheaper substitutes. If possible, choose white pepper in grains as frauds are more common with ground pepper.

Alternatives to green peppercorns

The most common substitutes for green pepper are similar spices or seasonings. Such as black, white, pink, or Sichuan peppers.


  • Green Peppercorn (Dried) Processing Technology: