This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Ground pepper is subjected to adulteration to a greater extent, probably, than any other commodity required in the hotel store-room, and the simplest means to avoid imposition is to buy the pepper in the whole state and have it ground in the house. So systematic is the practice of the manufacturers of ground spices they make little or no disguise of the fact, but only of the kind of adulterants employed, for the buyer in quantity is offered different grades, as "pure, first adulteration, second adulteration, and third adulteration," according to the price he is willing to pay. Where pepper is purchased for use and not for re-sale it is manifestly the cheapest plan to buy the "pure," if it be pure, or the whole berry and grind it. The stuff found in adulterated peppers is, in various mixtures, mustard hulls, peanut cake, ground olive stones, cocoanut shells, meal, sand, spent ginger, charcoal, etc., the commonest and cheapest samples containing no pepper at all but the dust and tailing from the mills.
Is the seed of a perennial climbing plant found growing wild in parts of India, but is extensively cultivated. The seeds or pepper corns are gathered just before they are ripe and are dried on mats.
Is the same berry as black pepper allowed to ripen before picking, when it does not shrink like the black and the outer black husk or bran can be removed, making the grains white. White pepper is much the better for most cooking purposes; that is, for adding to dishes that are already cooked, as it does not show in dark specks, but black pepper is to be preferred for flavor; to be cooked in compounds which are to be strained afterward.
Is black pepper crushed, not ground, that it may be cooked in sauces and soups and be easily strained out, being coarse.
An inferior sort of pepper sometimes used in pickling but now in little demand. It is not fit to grind, having an unpleasant flavor. It is used to some extent to adulterate ground white pepper and is the source of the offensive odor given out by some samples of white pepper when heated in cooking. Long pepper is the seed of a weed which grows along the water-courses in India.
Red pepper pods and seeds ground; the small capsicums are the kind generally used, but there is a mixture of various sorts. The adulterating material is yellow corn meal, turmeric, mustard hulls, etc., but it is not difficult to get it quite pure from respectable merchants.
In New Orleans, and Florida cities a sort of cayenne of very mild taste is used under the above name, principally in fish cooking. It is an article of regular sale in grocery stores, and occupies the same place in Creole cookery that curry powder holds in that of other countries. It is mixed with Creole boiled rice in sufficient amount to make the whole dish light red; a fish to be baked is laid open in the pan and perfectly covered with the red coloring pepper before cooking; it enters into jambalava and into the fish stew known there by name of courtbouillon.