Allspice or Jamaican pepper is a berry that, due to its complex taste, is an excellent substitute for the three aromas it unites: cloves, a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, and bay leaf. But allspice is also peppery. It is not for nothing that allspice is nicknamed 'allspice'.
Allspice is the dried, still 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. A pimento berry also unites the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and is therefore called 'allspice'. The berry has had these names since its first introduction by the British in the early 17th century. A century earlier, Columbus had discovered the spice in Jamaica, and gave it the name Jamaican pepperberry, assuming it was related to a (real) pepper.
In the 17th century, the British did everything they could to control trade by hindering the spread of the plant. They could know that birds would throw a spanner in the works. These spread the seed as far as Hawaii. Incidentally, allspice grew not only in Jamaica, but in numerous places in the Greater Antilles. The Pimenta diocia 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 Middle Eastern cuisines, such as Palestinian cuisine. Britain has such a special relationship with 'allspice' that it is even used in cake. In France allspice is also called the berry 'quatre épices', after the three main aromas of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
The fresh allspice berries are not used, only the dried ones. It is used as a substitute for bay leaf in broths, in meat products and sausages, with game, fish (the Spanish escabeche) and in ragouts and marinades. In addition, allspice is very tasty with pear or apple, and in rice porridge! In the English kitchen you will find numerous baked dishes and desserts with allspice.
Odor and taste
The all-spice character of allspice is evident from the following short list of aromatic substances in the berry:
- eugenol, the characteristic scent of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil and bay leaf
- β-phellandrene, a pleasant mint and citrus flavour
- α-humulene, woody, as in hops (humulus lupulus)
- 1,8-cineole, eucalyptol, the refreshing taste of mint (and eucalyptus oil)
- δ-cadinene , like thyme, and
- germacrene D, spicy and woody.
Use allspice whole (whether or not bruised) or ground.
Why not organic?
In order to be able to supply this organically grown allspice under the label organic, 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 carry the designation organic.
- 100% dried fruits of the Pimenta diocia
- origin: Guatemala
- available in glass and pouch (no test tubes)
- glass jar contains 45 grams
- stand-up pouches with a content of up to 30 to 300 grams
- larger quantities on request
- the jar is available in a tasteful gift box, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
- for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the category gift packaging
- keep allspice in a dark, dry and cool place
- Grind allspice at the very last moment, and once ground allspice do not store too long
- keep your allspice in closed packaging
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before August 2024 (08/24)
- this best before date is an indication