Allspice Article - Allrecipes.com
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Allspice

Description

Allspice is the dried, unripened fruit of a small evergreen tree, the Pimenta Dioica. The fruit is a pea-sized berry which is sundried to a reddish-brown color. Pimento is called allspice because its flavor suggests a blend of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Uses

Allspice is used in seasonings, sauces, sausages, ketchup, jams, pumpkin, gravies, roasts, hams, baked goods, and teas. Caribbean cooking relies on allspice as the main ingredient in jerk seasoning. It is used in Caribbean, Mexican, Indian, English and North American cooking and in seasoning blends such as jerk seasoning and curry.

What The Experts Say

"I add allspice to braised meats--especially pork--at the beginning of the cooking process," says Chef Bradford Thompson of Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ. "I also grind whole allspice with black peppercorns as a finish for roasted meats."

Perfect Flavor Partners include:

black pepper, bourbon, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, ginger, nutmeg, orange and vanilla




Origins

Most allspice is produced in Jamaica, but alternative sources include Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Historically, Jamaican allspice has been considered superior because of its higher oil content, better appearance and flavor. Jamaican allspice has a clove-like aroma while the Honduran and Guatemalan varieties have a characteristic bay-rum flavor.

Folklore

For centuries, the Mayan Indians used allspice to embalm the bodies of important leaders. Allspice is also know as pimiento (Spanish for pepper) because the berries resemble unripened peppercorns and it was one of the spices Christopher Columbus discovered on the Caribbean Islands when he asked the native Indians if they harvested black pepper.

botanical drawing of allspice plant

    Color

    Dark, reddish-brown

    Flavor & Aroma

    Pleasant blend of cinnamon and clove

    Sensory Profile

    Allspice is generally described as possessing a woody, cinnamon-like flavor which is slightly numbing.

    Allspice, ground
      Comments
      lac925 
      Aug. 25, 2010 8:38 pm
      Is there a way to combine other similar spices (ie. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) to create a similar flavour? I thought I read somewhere that this is possible...
       
       
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