Allspice or Jamaican pepper is a berry that, due to its complex flavor, is an excellent substitute for the three aromas it unites: cloves, a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon, and bay leaf. But allspice is also peppery. It is not without reason that allspice is nicknamed 'allspice'.
Allspice is the dried, unripe fruit of a shrub from the myrtle family, which at first glance looks a lot like the laurel.
Like other pseudo-peppers, allspice contains a pungent substance, in this case gingerol, which we know from ginger. An allspice berry also combines the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and is therefore called 'allspice'. The berry has had these names since the British first introduced it in the early 17th century. A century earlier, Columbus had discovered the spice in Jamaica, and gave it the name Jamaican pepperberry, thinking he was dealing with a (real) pepper.
The British did everything they could to control trade in the 17th century by hindering the spread of the plant. They should have known that birds would throw a spanner in the works. These spread the seed as far as Hawaii. By the way, allspice grew not only in Jamaica, but in numerous places in the Greater Antilles. Pimenta dioica still only grows in the Western Hemisphere.
Jamaica is the main producer, with 70% of world trade. Our - organically grown - allspice comes from Guatemala. After picking, the berries are left alone for a short time to allow the flavor to develop. Only then are the berries dried.
Allspice is obviously a must in Caribbean cuisine, but also in the kitchens of the Middle East, such as Palestinian cuisine. Britain has such a special bond with 'allspice' that it is even used in cakes. In France, allspice is also called the berry 'quatre épices', after the three main aromas of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger.
The fresh allspice berries are not used, only the dried ones. This is used as a substitute for bay leaf in broths, in meats and sausages, with game, fish (the Spanish escabeche) and in ragouts and marinades. In addition, allspice is very tasty with pears or apples, and in rice porridge! In English cuisine you will find numerous baking dishes and desserts with allspice.
Smell and taste
The all-spice character of allspice is evident from the following brief list of aromatic substances in the berry:
- eugenol, the characteristic scent of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil and laurel
- β-phellandrene, a pleasant mint and citrus flavor
- α-humulene, woody, as in hops (humulus lupulus)
- 1,8-cineole, eucalyptol, the refreshing taste of mint (and eucalyptus oil)
- δ-cadinene, as thyme, and
- germacrene D, spicy and woody.
Use allspice whole (whether bruised) or ground.
Why not organic?
In order to be able to supply this organically grown pepper under the organic label, we will have to be certified as a packer/producer of the pepper. We are not. Although we process and store organic products and products from regular cultivation strictly separately, we are not (yet) allowed to use the organic label.
- 100% dried fruits of the Pimenta diocia
- origin: Guatemala
- available in glass and stand-up pouch (no test tubes)
- glass jar contains 45 grams
- stand-up pouches with a capacity of up to 30 to 300 grams
- larger quantities on request
- the jar is available in a tasteful gift packaging, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
- For an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the gift packaging section
- store allspice in a dark, dry and cool place
- grind allspice at the very last moment, and do not store once ground allspice for too long
- store your allspice in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before August 2024 (08/24)
- this expiration date is an indication