Difference Between Black Pepper and Uziza Seeds

Uziza Seeds

When it comes to identifying the various African food spices, people tend to mistake uziza seeds for black pepper. They may look similar, but they are not the same at all. Each has characteristics that differentiate one from the other.

However, Uziza seed spice shape is oval. While dried, it is usually black, but when fresh, the color is greenish and later changes to orange until it finally get to black.

Let’s consider them below.

Uziza Seed (piper guineense)

The pungent spice uziza seed (piper guineense) is native to West Africa. In West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, this spice is used to make a variety of traditional cuisines. Above all, this spice gives meals a unique scent and flavor. Uziza seed in English is piper guineense, Uziza seed is called Iyere in Yoruba.

Uziza is an earthy pepper that is also known as Ashanti pepper, Benin pepper,  Cubeb, Soro wisa, Guinea cubed, and other names. However, it has a peak value of pungency, and the flavor is strong and distinct.

Black Pepper (pipper Nigrum)

Piper nigrum (black pepper) is a fruit that grows on a flowering vine in the piperaceae family. Furthermore, this peppercorn is round in shape with green color,  It is picked before the color changes to red and turned black when dried. Most notably, black pepper is a spice that originated in India and is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also used for cooking and manufacturing seasonings and spice blends all over the world.

Difference Between Black pepper And Uziza Seed


Both are scenty spices. Moreover, Uziza Seed spice has a strong scent and is fairly aromatic. In contrast to black pepper, this has a moderate flavor and aroma. Although black pepper may be used in a variety of dishes, uziza can only be used in dishes that have the uziza flavor. Make a chicken pepper soup with uziza, for example.


Uziza has a deep, woody pungent taste. Black pepper, on the other hand, not so much. This is because; uziza contains linalool which gives it its pungent taste.

Black pepper does not have this taste because it does not contain the linalool.

Usage of Black pepper and Eziza Seed

Uziza seeds are very versatile. They can be used for weight loss, for example. It also helps in post-partum care. Black pepper on the other hand doesn’t have any element that helps either in weight loss or post-partum care. It’s just hot and spicy.

Black pepper is just a spice

Yes, black pepper is only a spice. Uziza seeds on the other hand is both a spice and a herb. Found to be useful in traditional medicine. In fact, one can say that uziza is more valuable like medicinal in traditional treatment of certain health conditions. But that’s another topic.

In summary, both spices may look similar and cannot be used hand in hand, since they have distinct differences. Rather use white pepper instead of black pepper because they are both from the same plant, white pepper was allowed to mature before being picked. Unlick the black one that was picked when it was still green.

They left it to dry after harvesting, and the color became white in the process. As a result, white pepper is somewhat hotter than black pepper

What would you be cooking with Uziza seeds or black pepper today?

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