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What’s the Best Pepper to Use in Pasta? Chefs Say It’s This One

Kampot peppercorns give an added layer of citrus and fruity flavors.

Kampot peppercorns.

Kampot peppercorns.

Photographer: Fujio Emura for Bloomberg Businessweek

Peppercorns are the unheralded heroes of the pantry. Home cooks happy to obsess over the provenance of their salt or the scorching heat of their chile flakes usually pay scant attention to the pepper they grind from dawn to dusk. But there’s a wide world of peppercorns, and their range of flavors can have a powerful impact on scrambled eggs, spaghetti, and T-bone steaks. These unassuming dried Kampot peppercorns, available from the marvelous spice hideout SOS Chefs ($15 for 2 oz), don’t look like anything special, but they pack a bright spiciness that delivers an intensely fragrant punch to everything they touch.

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