Pepper is spicy and enough of it will certainly make your ears warm, but it won't have you gulping down water the way chili peppers do. A few grinds is a nice way to add a bit of heat to a dish without blowing people away. Plus, its woodsy, citrusy flavor makes a nice counter-note to a lot of flavors in our cooking.
A few more trivia facts for you: green pepper is harvested a little earlier than black pepper and gets dried without being cooked to retain its brighter color. White pepper is ground from the seed of a fully ripe peppercorn; it's nice to use this spice when seasoning light-colored foods where you don't want black flakes to show up, though its flavor is a bit murkier. Pink peppercorns come from a different plant entirely, which accounts for their color and brighter flavor.
If you're in a pepper mood, take a look at these recipes:
• Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt and Black Pepper • Ginger and Black Pepper Roasted Turkey Breast • Slow-Cooker Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine • How to Salt-Cure Lox at Home
What's your favorite peppery dish?