Red peppercorns are fully ripened berries that are bright red in color when they are picked. They may be used fresh, but they spoil quickly, so they can be preserved in brines, freeze-dried, or air dried.
These spicy, dried berries possess a deeper, more rounded pepperiness than the brash piper nigrum. Pink peppercorns lend foods a different kind of heat, closer to chiles than black pepper. They have the same peppery bite, but it's wrapped in a sweet fruity flavor reminiscent of a berry with an attitude.