All About Allspice

LeGourmetTV's picture

Feb. 01, 2018

Ever wonder what's in Allspice... Well Allspice Isn't a spice blend that contains 'all spices' (a question that we get all the time), but rather a single spice that tastes like a blend of spices. This is a great one to have in your spice cupboard because you can easily sub it in for other spices you may not have. It's also great in a wide range of spice blends.

Pimenta dioica (L.)
Plant Family: Myrtle (Myrtaceae)
Origin: West Indies

- Allspice, also called pimenta,a Jamaica pimenta, Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimiento, and clove pepper

- The Spanish discovered this spice when they reached the Caribbean - they thought it was black pepper and ended up calling it pimenta which is Spanish for pepper.

- The name "allspice" was in use by 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- The warm sweet flavour of Allspice lends itself to a wide variety of both savoury and sweet foods.
- Allspice is often paired with black pepper, cardoon, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla in spice blends.
- Its grown primarily in Jamaica, but commercial farms can be found across the Caribbean and Central America.
- The berries are harvested while they are still unripe and green. During drying, the colour changes to a reddish-brown.
- Jamaican allspice is considered the best because it has a higher oil content and better flavour than varieties grown elsewhere.

- Allspice is used in Jamaican jerk seasoning and in soups, stews, and curries. It also is used in pickling spice, spiced tea mixes, cakes, cookies, and pies.
- It can also be found in Swedish Meatballs, pickled herring, and many other Traditional European dishes.

-Whole dried allspice will keep indefinitely when kept out of light in airtight jars. It can be ground in a spice mill or an electric coffee grinder. The ground spice loses flavour quickly.