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Allspice

(Pimento) is a the "dried unripe berry" of the Pimenta dioica which belongs to the family Myrtaceae.  
Article by:  GourmetSleuth

Article by: Barbara Bowman


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Allspice is also know as Jamaica pepper, common name applied to the berry of a small West Indian tree of the myrtle family. The tree grows to a height of about 9 m (about 30 ft) and has aromatic, glossy green leaves and white flowers. The fruit, when dried, is widely used as a spice. The name pimento is sometimes applied to the pimiento, a variety of sweet pepper, also used as a spice.

History
Spanish explorers happened on to the Allspice plant in Jamaica in the beginning of the 16th century. The Spaniards thought the fruits look like pepper so they gave it the name of Jamaican Pepper and pimento from the word "pimienta", Spanish for peppercorn.

The English name "Allspice" was given because the spice is said to have the aroma of several spices including cloves, pepper and even cinnamon and nutmeg.

Uses
Salads

chicken; mushroom; pasta; slaws; tomato

Soups & Stews

beef; chicken; consommé; fish; fruit; potato; tomato; vegetable

Fish & Poultry

chicken; duck; goose; poached fish; turkey

Meats

beef; corned beef; ham; lamb; rabbit; sausages; veal; venison

Vegetables beets; carrots; parsnips; peas; spinach; sweet potatoes; turnips; winter squash
Pasta, Grains; Dried Beans black beans; bulghur; couscous; polenta; rice
Cheese & Egg Dishes cottage cheese; deviled eggs; fondue; savory custards;
Sauces barbecue; chocolate; cream; meat; sweet; tomato
Desserts baked apples; chocolate; fruit; gingerbread; pumpkin; spice cakes
Miscellaneous chutneys; eggnog; hot chocolate; marinades; mulled wine; stuffings; sweet breads
Harvesting & Forms
The green Allspice berries are picked and then dried.  They are very high in eugenol which is the main flavoring substance of the berry.

Allspice is available as whole berries or ground.  Grinding your own whole berries will provide the most intense flavor and longest shelf life.

Featured Recipe - Allspice Glaze

This  simple glaze can be drizzled over the top of a cake,  pastries or even a good quality vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons hot water

Instructions
Combine all ingredients and mix well.

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Allspice Recipes

Substitutions

One teaspoon ground allspice is equivalent to approximate 5 whole berries.

If you need a substitute for allspice combine equal parts of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.

Resources and CreditsFairchild Tropical Garden - Located in Coral Gables, Florida. We thank Ms. Collins for correcting our error in the botanical source of this plant.

Who Uses The Most Allspice?

According to Alan Davidson; allspice is most popular in Northern America and Northern Europeans prefer allspice more than does the Southern Europeans.  It is also a predominant spice in the former Soviet  Union.