What is allspice?
Allspice is the dried berries of the evergreen pimento tree Pimenta dioica. The plant belongs to the plant family of the myrtle family.
It also bears the following names:
- Pimenta (Columbus thought he found pepper. Pimenta is the Spanish word for pepper - Pimienta)
- Four spice (because it tastes like pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon)
- Clove pepper (due to its taste similar cloves and pepper)
- Allspice (because you use it as a seasoning)
- New spice (because he came from the New World at that time)
- Jamaica pepper, myrtle Pepper
How does pimenta Dioica taste?
Allspice has a complex aroma. They taste like several spices at the same time. It is a delicate blend of pleasant sharpness, with aromas of nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and cinnamon. Due to their intense taste, I recommend to dose them sparingly. If you use the ground spice, a knife tip is usually enough. If you like to cook them, you should use 6-8 grains because they are milder in taste.
What do you use myrtle pepper for?
A usual spice combination is Myrtle pepper with laurel and cloves. You may flavor with the grains broths, roasts, stewed dishes, roulades, or goulash. Jamaican pepper is also an ingredient in lots of popular spice blends such as our Berbere, Baharat, Ras el Hanout, African Rub, Tsire, or Marco Polo. It is even in our Christmas spice blends for gingerbread, Cookies, Pain d'épice, and Melange Francoise.
Piment grains season oriental dishes, chutney, sauces, and curry.
You can grind or crush the Allspice berries before using them in recipes. They are suitable for preparing festive desserts such as plum-pudding or for flavoring chutneys. With clove pepper, you can preserve fish and meat.
What other spices does the Pimenta match?
Pimenta goes well with the following spices: nutmeg and mace, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, rosemary, thyme, coriander, ginger, chili, garlic, mustard.
How do I store Jamaica Pepper correctly?
Put the jamaica pepper in an airtight vessel and store them in a cool and dry place protected from the sun.
Where does allspice grow?
The evergreen Piment tree originates in Central America. Magellano brought it to India, Asia, and Africa. Today, from green to red, there are over 24 different varieties of Pimenta. It was Christopher Columbus who discovered the Piment. He mistakenly thought it was pepper, and that's why it called Piment.
What does the Pimento tree look like?
The Pimento Tree is evergreen and belongs to the myrtle family. It has 6-16 cm long, oval leaves, and an average growth height is 9-12 meters. Piment trees grow in a savannah climate with dry and warm summers (average temperature of 25 °C).
The pimento berries mature 3-4 months after flowering and have a size of 0.5 cm - 0.8 cm. The spice is harvested from July to September when the allspice is still green and immature. Only immature berries contain high concentrations of flavoring essential oil Eugenol. Afterward, they are dried in the sun, turning first red-violet and then brown.