Today, a shaker of black pepper is found on table settings all across the world. But for thousands of years, there was another contender for adding spice to food. Long pepper (Piper longum) is a close relative of black pepper (Piper nigrum). As opposed to the small spheres of black pepper, the long pepper is, aptly, long and conical, with tightly-clustered peppercorns. These peppercorns are sun-dried and then either used whole, crushed with a mortar and pestle, or broken up and used in a spice grinder. Their flavor is similar to black pepper but with more complexity. They are sweeter, not as hot, and have a citrusy bite similar to Szechuan peppercorns.