Essential Spice Smoked Black Pepper are from black peppercorns which were grown until full maturity and then smoked over hickory wood for a subtle, yet smoky flavor. Great in rubs or seasoning blends, smoked black peppercorns also make for a good finishing pepper. Grind fresh on top of grilled meats, vegetables, salsas, etc. Peppercorns are the fruits of a flowering vine in the Piperaceae family. The green, wide-leafed vines grow long tendrils where cylindrical clusters of the berries ripen. The fruits are small containing a thin skin, very little actual fruit, and a single large seed. The fruits are picked at varying degrees of ripeness depending on the strength and type of pepper desired and then processed accordingly. The vine is native to India but is grown in nearly every tropical region.