Jamaican pimento, myrtle peppers, Jamaican peppers — it’s all allspice.
For years, I thought Allspice was just another spice blend — like poultry seasoning or pumpkin spice. Apparently, I’m not alone. The common name for this spice — All Spice — has been used by English cooks since the 1600s. Obviously, it reminded someone of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In fact, if you don’t have allspice in your spice cupboard and a recipe calls for it, you can use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of ground nutmeg in its place.
In reality, it’s it’s own thing. Allspice comes from the small, dried unripened berries of the Pimenta dioica tree, a species native to the Caribbean. It figures prominently in Caribbean cooking where it’s a key component of Jamaican jerk spice.
In the British Isles, it’s usually reserved for the dessert cart dishes. We typically reserve sweet spices for cookies and cakes. Elsewhere in the world, it’s used in savory dishes. In Middle Eastern cuisine, it flavours meat dishes. German sausage makers use it in their wares. And in Poland, it’s found in everything from pickles to deli meats.
Where do you use allspice? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading. Keeping cooking and we’ll talk later.
Other posts that might interest you: