Pepper is a tropical, perennial climbing vine with aerial roots that can grow to over 10 metres in height. It thrives in hot, wet tropical climates, native to India. Vietnam is currently the world’s largest producer of black pepper. The leaves of the pepper plant are glossy and green, bearing dense spikes of white flowers containing 50 blossoms each. Its berries are green when unripe and turn red as they mature, and it is these that are dried and sold as peppercorns. These measure 5 millimetres and contain a single seed. Black peppercorns refer to the dried, unripe berry, the most spicy of all peppercorns with a pungent, warm aroma and flavour.