Allspice

allspice.jpg
photo credit: gourmetsleuth

About

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.

Allspice 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

Course Foods
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 cake
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 the longest shelf life. 

The Allspice Tree

allspice tree

Fun Fact about Allspice

Nutrition Information For Allspice

Serving Size
1 tbsp
 
Calories
16
Calories from Fat
9
 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 5mg
0%
Potassium
63g
0%
Total Carbohydrate 4g
0%
Dietary Fiber 1g
10%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
0%
 
Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  0% Iron  0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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.

Sources and Credits

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

author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.