When my boyfriend said he was making dinner on Christmas Eve, he brought everything he needed with him. He’s good that way.
He even brought the spices he needed, including one I didn’t have: white pepper.
White pepper is also from the pepper plant (like black pepper), but this outer layer of the plant is removed before or after drying, leaving only the inner seed. (For black pepper, the fruit is left on the plant until ripe and sun-dried.)
White pepper tastes hotter than black but is less complex with fewer flavor notes. Often used for aesthetic reasons like to avoid “specs” in mashed potatoes, white pepper is often used in French cooking.
We used it in mashed potatoes. I liked the depth of flavor the white pepper adds; it gives the dish a heat that takes a minute to register on your palate. While I don’t care about “specs” in my food, it does make it taste delicious, and that’s all that really matters.