White and black peppercorn are both derived from the same berry of the peppercorn plant. However, in the case of white peppercorn the berry is allowed to fully ripen before harvesting. It is then fermented so that the skin of the berry can be removed. The naked kernel then dries in the sun before being shipped to market. It is more popular in Europe thank North America where black peppercorn is preferred.
In America, whole white peppercorn is sometimes found in the peppercorn mixes meant for grinding as needed into dishes. There it mostly provides a visual complement to the black, and sometimes green, or even red berries that are also included in the mix. It should be noted that though black and green peppercorn are both same species as white peppercorn, but pink peppercorn is from a different plant entirely.
The taste of white peppercorn is a little more subdued than black peppercorn. It has a slightly milder flavor, with less complexity and less heat.
Pungent, spicy. Slightly subdued in comparison to black peppercorn. Also less complex in flavor and less strong in heat.
Tangy and sharp, some floral notes.
White in color and more smooth in appearance than black peppercorn.
Use whole white peppercorns for visual contrast in your peppercorn mixes.
Use white peppercorn in your peppercorn mixes for an attractive visual contrast. Freshly ground pepper is a little luxury worth granting yourself.
White peppercorn is generally more expensive than black peppercorn due to the increased amount of time and effort it takes to process as well as its increased time on the vine to ripen before harvesting.