allspice berries

ground
4.9
based on 14 reviews
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shaker jar
2 oz
$8
refill
2 oz
$7
large refill
8 oz
$19
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VARIANTS
whole
ground
Ground allspice is even more pungent than its whole counterpart. It is cocoa brown in color, and has the smell and taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove combined. A hint of the camphor pungency of juniper berry and/or the bite of black pepper might also be detected. Equally at home in sweet or savory dishes, ground allspice can be found in both meat rubs and in sugary baked goods.

For most Americans pinching ground allspice will immediately transport them to autumn when there is an abundance of spiced pumpkin lattes, smoothies, cocktails, scones, and of course pies.

Elsewhere however, ground allspice is more popularly known as the key ingredient in the blend of spices that make Jamaican Jerk. Ground allspice is also found in Mexican dishes, particularly molés, as well as in a variety of other sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, and spiced syrups. It is also an ideal supplement to chocolate foodstuffs, where it adds complexity and richness.
QUICK INFO
allspice berries , ground
INGREDIENTS
Allspice berries
TASTING NOTES
Warm, spicy-sweet
AROMA
Allspice aroma is a combination of spices including cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, with a peppery edge.
CHARACTERISTICS
Ground allspice is a cocoa brown color with lighter brown highlights that can present as a very faint almost iridescent sheen.
PAIRINGS
Pair ground allspice with cinnamon in confections, or with juniper, pepper, rosemary and thyme in savory dishes. Allspice is the signature spice in classic Jamaican jerk cuisine.
SUBSTITUTIONS
Can be substituted for mixture of spices with equal parts cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. If using allspice as a substitution for these spices, use slightly less than quantities called for in your recipe due to allspice's pungency.
USAGE
Add to sweet or savory dishes. Ground allspice is found in holiday baking; and also in Caribbean cuisine. Allspice is the signature spice in classic Jamaican jerk cuisine.
PLANT PART
berry
PROCESSING / FORM
ground
BOTANICAL NAME
Pimenta dioica
ORIGIN
Guatemala
BOTANICAL NAME
Pimenta dioica
AKA
Jamaica pepper
myrtle pepper
pimenta
pimento
English spice
Allspice is the dried, unripened berry of the Pimenta doica tree, a tropical evergreen and relative of the myrtle family (Myrtacease) native to the West Indies and Central America where it grows in groves called "allspice walks." Whole allspice berries are small, brown, and seed-like berries that are intensely aromatic.

When Columbus first encountered allspice in its native Jamaica he had never actually seen a real pepper plant and so believed allspice to be a variation of pepper. As such, it became known to the Spanish as 'Jamaica pepper.' More formally it was given the genus pimenta, after pimiento, the Spanish word for pepper. Allspice received its current moniker later in the 1600s, when traders sought to capture in their designation the mix of spice aromas and flavors inherent in a single berry. Allspice is redolent of several spices: cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a hint of juniper and peppercorn.

Not surprisingly, the name creates confusion. Many people mistake it for an actual blend of the very spices the traders of the 1600s were looking to invoke versus a unique berry with a natural combination of flavors and fragrances.
CONFUSIONS

Allspice is a single spice
The dried berries from this plant are redolent of a mix of spices. Whole or ground they seem to hold all the scents of our holiday baking favorites: cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Its flavor matches its aroma; and this 'evidence,' along with the suggestive name, have duped people to believing it's a blend of spices for ages.

USAGE HINT

Add allspice to your recipes at the beginning of cooking or baking, since allspice almost always benefits from being heated.

QUICK FACT

When discovered by western culture, attempts to propagate plants by seed initially failed. It was found that germination required the seed to pass through the digestive tract of berry-eating birds.

 
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REVIEWS (14)