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Black Pepper is a perennial climbing vine from the Piperaceae family. The spice and essential oil for Black Pepper are both harvested from the fruit of the plant. Originating in the Himalayan region, this plant is one the earliest known plants to be used for cooking and medicinal purposes.
In early historic times, pepper was widely cultivated in the tropics of Southeast Asia, where it became highly regarded as a condiment. Pepper became an important article of overland trade between India and Europe and often served as a medium of exchange; tributes were levied in pepper in ancient Greece and Rome.
In the Middle Ages, the Venetians and the Genoese became the main distributors in Europe, and their virtual monopoly of the trade helped instigate the search for an eastern sea route. The plant is widely cultivated throughout Indonesia and has been introduced into tropical areas of Africa and of the Western Hemisphere. Source
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