Allspice

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 24, 2017)

Allspice, also known by the scientific name Pimenta officinaus, is the fruit of a tropical American tree that belongs to the myrtle family. It is remarkably showy, with beautiful shiny green and aromatic leaves. The berry is picked green, and then sun-dried for about a week, leaving the berry looking like a large, plump peppercorn. Early seventeenth century explorers named the berry pimenta, which is the Spanish word for pepper. Back in those days pepper, and other spices, translated directly into money, with the spices usually being worth their weight in gold. Apparently though, the explorers didn't bring any allspice back with them, since it wasn't until more than a century later that this spice really started to become popular throughout Europe.

Allspice is a wonderful spice that has a unique history when compared to that of other spices. The contrast lies in the fact that the warm, sweet allspice has virtually no history of greed, thievery, or bloodshed. In addition, allspice has comparatively little in the way of a culinary history. This spice was brought to the American colonies from the West Indian Islands along with their cargos of rum and molasses. In the early days of the American colonies, allspice was a welcome relief to the housewives of the day. Due to the expense and rarity of spices from other parts of the world, allspice created a versatile new option that could be used instead.

Allspice has since been used as a "traditional" alternative spice for Indian puddings, spiced or pickled meats, and even as a seasoning for pumpkin pies. In addition, the New World allspice also blends well with various other New World foods. Some examples of these other foods include things like tomatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, squashes and pumpkins, spice cakes, pickles, and even in chocolate. Since it has been found, and its increase in popularity, allspice has become indispensable for things like mincemeat and even in preparing hams.

Keep in mind though that while allspice can blend wonderfully with other spices, you will want to leave out any and all cloves that a recipe may call for. This is because in allspice, the dominating taste is that of cloves. Due to this, when used in long term cooking it can help impart a wonderful taste. Some examples of this use would be to tie a few of the whole berries into some cheesecloth bag, and using it for pot roast flavoring, or soaking in marinades, soups, and other dishes.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Creating a Country Garden

If you are looking for a simple, beautiful, and easy to maintain garden then you should probably try a country style ...

Discover More

How Frost Affects Plants

Part of being a good gardener is understanding how the weather affects the plants in your garden or landscape. While ...

Discover More

How to Replace Shock Absorbers

Over time, even the best cared for car will require to have a few of its parts replaced. One example f this can be found ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Caraway

Caraway has been around for a very long time and long held a place of honor among the herbs and spices of the world. Take ...

Discover More

Best Ways to Store Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs tend to be better for cooking than dried ones. There is, however, the problem of keeping herbs fresh for as ...

Discover More

Chili Peppers and Paprika

Despite what many people may think chili peppers and paprika are actually part of the same family. While there is a lot ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine less than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)