We might choose to describe this variation of pepper, Piper Longum, as spicier than black peppercorns. We don't mean hotter, rather, with more spice overtones. While you will get the heat and earthiness you get from black pepper, you will also detect hints of some of the spices we think of as baking spices; nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger. And while those might be baking spices in this country, in other parts of the world such as India, they are the key spices in many spice blends, or masalas, used for savory purposes. Earthy, heat, a hint of sweetness, with a lingering cooling, makes this a very interesting spice to play with. It pairs well with all sorts of meats, many vegetables, stews, even spicy, fruity dessert dish. While you can infuse its flavor by using it whole in a stew or slow roasted lamb dish, it typically is ground before using, much like black pepper, to bring out its essential oils and flavors.