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A pink peppercorn (French: baie rose, "pink berry") is a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree.
Although a peppercorn is the dried fruit of a plant from the genus Piper, pink peppercorns came to be called such because they resemble peppercorns, and because they, too, have a peppery flavour. As they are members of the cashew family, they may cause allergic reactions including anaphylaxis for persons with a tree nut allergy.
Dried berries from the related species Schinus terebinthifolia (the Brazilian pepper), are sometimes also called pink peppercorns (baies roses de Bourbon). The dried berries of that shrub are employed as culinary spice. The Brazilian pepper was brought to Florida in 1598 as an ornamental plant and eventually became invasive in the area where it is often referred to as "Florida Holly".
In 1982, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the import of Brazilian peppercorns from France into the United States, asserting that people who eat the berries risk an array of acute symptoms, such as swollen eyelids and indigestion, similar to poison ivy. In response, the Government of France maintained that the berries are safe to eat if grown in prescribed conditions. The United States later lifted the ban.[when?] The fruit and leaves of Peruvian pepper are potentially poisonous to poultry, pigs and possibly calves. Records also exist of young children who have experienced vomiting and diarrhea after eating the fruit. Presently both species of pink peppercorn lack "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status with the FDA.
- Burros, Marian (1982). "F.D.A. and French disagree on pink peppercorn's effects". The New York Times (31 March). Retrieved 13 September 2012.
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