Botanical name: Schinus Terebinthifolius (family: Anarcardiaceae)
Pink pepper is not related to black and white pepper (Piper Nigrum). In fact, there are several species of pink pepper of which the Schinus Terebinthifolius and the Schinus Molle are the most common ones.
Schinus Terebinthifolius, also referred to as Brazilian red pepper, is a small tree, so not a vinous plant like Piper Nigrum, that reaches a height of some 7-9 metres. The Schinus Molle, also referred to as Peruvian pepper, is an evergreen tree that can grow to 15 metres height. The trees grow in the wild. The fruit is a small red berry of 4-5 mm in diameter growing in clusters of hundreds of berries. The berry carries a pepper-like taste and are usually sold in a dry state.
When the berries reach maturity they are handpicked and exposed to sunlight for drying. Additional cleaning is carried out mechanically to remove stalks, leaves and immature berries. Also additional machine drying can take place. When dried the berries have a brittle skin with a more solid nucleus. To obtain 1 kilo of final product suitable for exportation, some 4 kilos of fresh pink peppercorns are required.