The Cooking Spice You’ve Likely Never Tried

If you’re a home cook who thinks you’ve tried every spice out there, it’s time to bring an interesting new spice into your culinary repertoire. Allspice is a dried, unripe berry from the Pimenta dioica plant, and though its name implies that it tastes like a combination of all spices, it actually has a flavor profile all its own.

Allspice is native to Central America and South America, but today most of the world’s supply comes from Jamaica. Allspice has a warm, pungent aroma with hints of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. It’s used in both sweet and savory dishes around the world. In the U.S., it’s used in pumpkin pie and other traditional Thanksgiving desserts; in Mexico, it’s used in mole sauce; in the Caribbean, it’s popular in Jerk seasoning; in Scandinavia, it’s used in pickling spices; and in Sweden and Norway, it’s used to flavor rice pudding.

Allspice berries can be purchased whole or ground. Whole berries will keep indefinitely if stored properly (in an airtight container away from light), while ground allspice loses its potency after six months. If you buy whole berries, you can

It’s not exactly a secret, but allspice is a spice that many of us have never actually tried. It’s an interesting blend of flavors — of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It can be added to jams, jellies, cookies, and cakes. But it can also be used in savory dishes.

It was originally called pimento because Christopher Columbus thought it tasted like black pepper and named it after the pepper-producing island of St. Vincent. It was later renamed allspice because it combines the flavor of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Allspice is actually the dried berry from the pimento tree (also known as a Jamaican pepper tree). The trees thrive in tropical climates and are harvested in the Caribbean.

Allspice has an earthy aroma and tastes spicy with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Some claim that it has a sweet aroma that is reminiscent of clove buds or nutmeg, with hints of gingerbread or vanilla.

If you’ve never cooked with allspice before, use this recipe to introduce yourself to this versatile spice!

In the garden of flavors, allspice is the indispensable herb. If you ever run out of salt, pepper, and cinnamon and couldn’t get to the store for weeks, you could still cook a pretty good meal if you had some allspice. Also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, newspice, pimenta, or pimento, this unique spice tastes like a combination of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s a cornerstone of Middle Eastern and North African cooking (think Moroccan tagines) and is also popular in Scandinavian cuisine.

Allspice comes from the dried berries of Pimenta dioica, an evergreen tree native to the West Indies and Central America. The name “allspice” was coined by the English because they thought it combined the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In reality it doesn’t taste like any other spice except itself; but it does make an excellent substitute for these three in many recipes that call for them.

The fresh berries are green at first, turning yellow then red as they ripen. They’re about 1/4″ in diameter with one flat side. Dried whole allspice berries are dark brown with one flat side (where it was attached to

If you cook for yourself on any regular basis, you probably have a solid arsenal of spices to make your meals flavorful. You likely have some combination of salt and pepper, maybe paprika, garlic or onion powder, or dried herbs like oregano and rosemary in your pantry. But what about allspice?

Allspice is a spice that’s often overlooked by home cooks, but it’s time we give it the love it deserves. It’s called “allspice” because it tastes like a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. (In fact, it’s also known as Jamaica pepper.) And while you can use allspice as an alternative to either cinnamon or cloves in baking recipes, you can also use it to add depth to savory dishes—think curries, marinades and rubs for meat.

Use this spice to take sauteed veggies up a notch by adding a dash of the spice. It pairs well with leafy greens like kale or chard and hearty vegetables such as carrots or squash. You can even add it to beans or lentils to give them more flavor. Try sauteing chopped shallot or onion with allspice before adding in the vegetables for extra dimension.


While most people have heard of allspice, they may not be able to identify it in a lineup. That’s because this spice is often used as a flavor enhancer in dishes like chai tea and pumpkin pie. Allspice may not be the star of the dish, but it sure makes everything taste better.

Allspice is a brown berry, picked unripe and dried in the sun. It is then ground into a powder that is similar in color to cinnamon and cloves. When you open a jar of allspice, it will smell like a mixture of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. This combination gives allspice its name — no other spice smells quite like it.

Allspice can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Ground allspice is often added to meat rubs, marinades, soups and stews for an extra kick of flavor. In addition to its strong aroma, ground allspice also has a strong flavor that can easily overpower other spices if you use too much of it. For this reason, the spice should be used sparingly at first until you learn how much your palate prefers.

While most people have heard of allspice, they may not be able to identify

Allspice is the dried berry of the Pimenta dioica, an evergreen tree native to Jamaica. It has a strong clove and cinnamon scent with hints of nutmeg and pepper. Some have said that it tastes similar to a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, hence the name allspice. The name was given by the British who thought that it tasted like a combination of all spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg).

Allspice is used in Caribbean, Mexican and Latin American cuisine. It is used in savory dishes such as jerk chicken, stews, pickles or curries. It can also be used in baked goods such as cookies or puddings.

There are many different ways you can use allspice in your cooking! Here are some ideas:

* Add whole allspice berries to soups or stews when cooking meat

* Add whole allspice berries to cranberry sauce when making it at home

* Add ground allspice to spice rubs for meat (beef, pork or chicken)

* Add ground allspice to gingerbread dough when baking cookies

Some recipes that incorporate allspice:

* Coconut Almond Pancakes with Allspice

Allspice (Pimenta dioica) is an evergreen tree that grows in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The small berry-like fruits are harvested when green, then dried in the sun until they turn brown. Allspice has a taste similar to a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; hence its name.

The round, smooth seeds are the most used part of the plant. They can be ground into a fine powder or used whole in pickling brines and marinades. The dried leaves of allspice are also commonly used to flavor meat, stews and sauces.

Allspice is used in many cuisines around the world including Mexican, Spanish, South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. In Mexican cuisine allspice is used to make stews like Birria de chiva (goat stew), barbacoa de chivo (barbecued goat), pibil de pollo (chicken) and cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork). It is also an ingredient in mole sauce and atole de guayaba (guava drink). Allspice is frequently added to Jamaican jerk seasoning mixtures.

Allspice is also used as

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