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I saw a video of cracked peppercorns where the cook was cracking them with the bottom of a pan. Coarse grounded is obviously done by grinding coarsly.

Assuming both are done freshly what is the difference between the two? It seems the only difference is how they have been broken? Are there any implications for taste, digestion, aesthetics, why did the cook/why would you use cracked black peppercorns over coarse grounded ones?

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When I have seen this done, the resulting product is in one of two states:

1) The peppercorn is broken down even less than a coarse grind (mostly intact) 2) The peppercorn is broken down into rough pieces, the same as a coarse grind

In some ethnic dishes, I have cracked peppercorns just enough to allow the flavor strengthen. This has given a suble to distinct flavor, in my experience. This is method 1.

In other dishes, such as a nice steak or a curry, I basically gave the peppercorns a coarse grind -- this leaves pieces you can still eat easily, but gives a much more pronounced flavor. This is method 2.

In the end, I think the recipe and the instructions will help to determine whether the method is being used to accomplish a coarse grind, or merely exposing more surface area to give a subtler flavor.

YMMV

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