allspice berries

whole
4.8
based on 17 reviews
try me sample
0.14 oz
75¢
pinch jar
1.2 oz
$5
refill
1.2 oz
$4
large refill
5 oz
$13
view packaging
VARIANTS
whole
ground
Whole allspice is warm and pungent. In shape, in size, and in color it looks like a dried peppercorn. Similar to the peppercorn it is brown and pebble-like but differing in that allspice surface is smooth save for its small dried calyx crown. Its flavor is more complex than the simple combination of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices that it is often mistaken as. It has a mildly citrus and peppery addition that gives it more depth. It suits dishes both sweet and savory.

Generally speaking whole allspice is used when liquid is involved and either time or heat can be applied to infuse the spice into the recipe. Stocks, stews, sauces, soups, brines or on the sweet side: puddings, creams (for ice cream); milks, wines, ciders (for warm winter beverages).

Crush slightly and then lightly toast the berries in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes to release more aroma.
QUICK INFO
allspice berries , whole
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
Whole allspice is a dried brown berry that looks a bit like an extra-large peppercorn, but without wrinkles.
PAIRINGS
Pairs well in confections with cinnamon. Works equally well in savory dishes with juniper, pepper, rosemary and thyme.
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
Whole allspice berries are used most often in liquids where their flavor can be infused over time or with heat. As such they can be found in brines; stews and soups; pickling and mulling mixes; and winter warming beverages like spiced ciders or hot chocolates.
PLANT PART
berry
PROCESSING / FORM
whole
BOTANICAL NAME
Pimenta dioica
VOLUME
1.2 oz (34 g) per 1/2 cup
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

Allspice can be purchased whole and then ground at home as-needed to achieve maximum flavor. Be sure to account for this fresh-ground pungency by using less than the amount called for in your recipe.

QUICK FACT

Allspice tree plantations are called "walks." In midsummer these groves bloom with tiny white flowers that are intensely aromatic. A "pimento walk" according to mid 18th century botanists was a stroll through the grounds and avenues of allspice trees. Patrick Browne, one such botanist, declared "Nothing can be more delicious than the odour of these walks, when the trees are in bloom..."

 
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REVIEWS (17)