Lemon pepper (also called lemon pepper seasoning) is made from grated lemon zest and cracked black peppercorns.
Lemon zest is macerated in with the cracked black pepper which promotes and allows the citrus oil to infuse the pepper.
The blend is then baked and dried and can be used on meats and pasta. It has a particular affinity with poultry it is said. When it was first created it was with seafood in mind that the blend was put together.
The berries of Piper nigrum ( Pepper) grow in spikey clusters on vines that reach 30 feet or more. The vines are cultivated on small plots that must be tended to carefully. The vine is trained to grow onto support posts, regular weeding and fertilisers are mandatory and shade from the sun is sometimes necessary.
A vine will not yield a crop until after the third year and does not go into full production until around the seventh year. The clustered spikes of perhaps 50 berries are hand-picked at just the right time for the desired black, white or green peppercorns.
Black pepper is produced from the still-green, unripe drupes which are briefly cooked in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying; the heat ruptures cells in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes are dried in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dried, the spice is called black peppercorn.
White pepper consists solely of the seed of the pepper plant, with the darker-coloured skin of the pepper fruit removed. This is usually accomplished by a process known as retting where fully ripe red pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week, during which the flesh of the pepper softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the naked seed is dried.
Green pepper, like black, is made from the unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green colour, such as shade drying.