AllSpice (Jamaican Pepper)

Allspice is the dry, unripe berry (fruit) of Pimenta dioica, the Jamaican allspice tree. They quite resemble large peppercorns, although with a flat husk, inclining towards a dark brown hue.

Despite its name, allspice isn’t an overall blend of multiple spices. … It was the English who gave the spice its name in 1621 its palate and aroma reminded them of so many spices blended into one which were cinnamon, cloves, pepper and nutmeg.

It is a necessary ingredient in Caribbean as well as Middle Eastern cooking. In the UK, it used for both spicy and sweet recipes, anything that uses mixed spice will do well with allspice in it. For e.g the Christmas pudding and Mulled Wine.

In Caribbean cuisines, Allspice is the most important spice and used extensively, it’s used in Jamaican jerk seasoning, in mole sauces and pickling. The meats that are seasoned with Allspice are then cooked over a Pimento dioica wood fire. Jamaicans also absorb the berries in rum to make a special liqueur. In other countries Allspice is used mostly in baking desserts such as pumpkin pies, banana bread spice cake, bread pudding and gingerbread. In the British Isles, Allspice is used in stews, sauces and for seasoning pickled vegetables.

The essential oil extracted from Allspice have typical aroma of a combination of pepper, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. The perfumed oil from Allspice have been used in perfumery, candle making and in other cosmetic manufacturing.

In contemporary herbal medicine, extract of Allspice has been used for neuralgic pain. Allspice essential oil, when added to massage oils and baths, is known to promote movement so as to reduce pain from muscle cramps and strains. Also, it is utilized for headache, to fight stress and depression and to control exhaustion because of its comforting scent. Allspice blends skillfully with ginger, lavender and other spices, making it different when it comes to the choices for aromatherapy.

The reason Allspice is used for medicating indigestion might be due to the abundant presence of the common polyphenol Eugenol in Allspice, which is known to restore digestive enzymes. So to sum up, Allspice is used as a key ingredient to prepare spice bread. It is used to aromatize cakes, compotes, chocolates, and chutneys for a it’s distinct sweet & spicy taste. Its berries are used for shellfish and fish marinades (used in Sweden with herring) and for marinating meats for grilling (barbecuing; Jamaican jerk cooking). The Pimento dioica is can be easily replaced with bay leaves.