By Sri Owen
Piper nigrum (also lada hit am, lada putih). This Indonesian word is pronounced m’reach-a, and is straight from Sanskrit. Pepper has been known in the islands at least since the time of the great Hindu empire of Srivijaya, for it was probably one of the commodities of the good life brought by the earliest traders from India, though whether the traders themselves were Indians or Indonesians is something the historians have not yet agreed on.
© 1980 Sri Owen. All rights reserved.