Whole or ground, and any color, pepper is a critical ingredient in almost every cuisine. For the ultimate in fresh flavor, buy whole peppercorns and grind or crush them when needed. When convenience and speed are essential, pre-ground pepper (whether coarse ground or fine) will provide much of the flavor and zing you want in your cooking. Keep ground pepper tightly sealed to preserve freshness.These peppercorns, picked while still green, are dehydrated. They are used for their color and special taste in gourmet cooking.