If allspice had a theme song, it would be “Please don’t let me be misunderstood.”
Occasionally it is called a pepper, because allspice berries, to the early Spanish conquerors, resembled a black peppercorn seed.
It is not.
Most people assume that Allspice powder is a blend.
It is not.
Allspice is a highly versatile fragrant, and taste, that is used in a wide variety of applications, from savories, to sweets.
It is a staple of Caribbean cuisines. Called ‘pimento’ in Jamaica, it is a core spice in Jamaican Jerk barbecue.
Other Caribbean cuisines use it as an aromatic for rice, or curries.
Heavily used in Mexican cuisine, it is a key ingredient in moles,
Middle Eastern cuisines use allspice in roasted meat dishes, stews and tomato sauces. In some Arab cuisines, allspice is the sole spice of certain dishes.
it’s also a key in the sweets, and pickling, of North Hemisphere countries’ cuisines.
Allspice smells like a nice blend of cinnamon, clove, with a bit of clove. Some people also ascribe notes of ginger to the taste.
Spanish conquistadores, during the latter part of the 1400s, thought that these were a variant of peppercorn, due to their appearance.
For years, highly fragrant allspice berries were a cheaper alternative to a combo of more costly spices shipped from farther away. Hence their other name: “Allspice.”
For small home pantries, it replaced cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with one. It can be found very commonly in older recipe books of British, and early American baking.