White pepper is derived from the same tropical, perennial climbing vine as black pepper that thrives in hot, wet tropical climates. The difference in colour is a result of the pepper berries being allowed to ripen more fully on the vine. The outer shell is then removed by soaking the berries in water until the shell falls off, leaving just the seed of the pepper. When dried in the sun, they further get bleached to produce white coloured peppercorns. It is preferred to black pepper in light coloured dishes so as not to leave black specks visible, but also has a milder flavour than black pepper with a more subdued spice.