Because of its color, white pepper is ideal for use in white sauces, pasta salads and seafood dishes. White pepper retains the full pungency of black pepper, but has an altered flavour due to partial loss of aroma compounds.
White pepper starts out the same as the black, but is allowed to ripen more fully on the vine, while black pepper is made from green berries. The outer shell is then removed either by soaking the berries in water until the shell falls off, or by placing them under flowing spring water, yielding a whiter, cleaner pepper.
White pepper is most often used in white or light-coloured dishes and sauces so there won't be any black flecks. And what does white pepper taste like? It is a little bit hot, a little bit winey and a great deal earthy. The key distinction between white and black pepper is white pepper's earthiness.
White pepper is widely used in Indian, Asian and Mexican cuisines. In Indian cuisine, white pepper is used for white or cream based gravies and curries. It is also commonly used in light coloured Continental dishes like casseroles, pies, creamy shrimp and scallop sauces, mayonnaise and cream based soups. White pepper pairs splendidly with another earthy spice, cumin.