Variety is the spice of life, and variety in flavor makes Allspice, giving utmost justification to its name.
Spices play a vital role in the world of food and cuisines, and as a medicine too.
They are the flavoring agents that enhance the taste of other ingredients.
They make the cuisine also look more appealing with the colors they produce while cooking.
Spice could be any segment from a plant, such as seed, root, fruit, bark, or any other part but the leaves, which make herbs.
There are various kinds of spices, including the common ones like cardamom, clove, black pepper, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and many more.
But how many of you are familiar with allspice?
What is Allspice?
Allspice comes from the dried berries of a plant called Pimenta dioica.
This plant belongs to the myrtle family, hence giving the other name, myrtle pepper, to Allspice.
It looks a lot like the black pepper with its shape, but its color is brown. The Spanish even misinterpreted it with black pepper, which they call pimiento.
It led to most parts of the world calling it by the name pimento.
The name allspice originated in the 17th century during its first import to Europe when people found its taste and aroma a mix of various spices.
What Does Allspice Taste Like? Does Allspice Taste Good?
The name makes the taste of this spice quite obvious.
It’s called Allspice because its flavor is a blend of many spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg and smells like all three and ginger.
Also known as Jamaica pepper, Allspice may smell like those spices mentioned above, but it is nothing like them or a mixture of them in real.
It’s a fruit that comes off the plant before it is ripe to go under the drying process.
They hit the stores for sale either in the form of berries or ground up.
That’s about the flavor. But what about the nutritional value of Allspice?
Well, you’d be delighted to learn that it is an excellent source of Iron, Calcium, and Manganese.
For a precise understanding, WebMD lays down the constituents of nutrients that a teaspoon of Allspice would offer.
Some of the health benefits these little drops of berries can provide are as below.
- Many of the composites in Allspice have proven to treat cancer, nausea, and inflammation.
- Eugenol, what makes the spice ‘spicy,’ aids in treating nausea.
- Get rid of your upset stomach with an allspice tea.
- Allspice also helps fight bacterial infections and can even eradicate yeast and E Coli bacteria.
- It can ease toothache and give relief to other pains
- It can reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
- The high level of phenols in Allspice helps in slowing down cancer growth.
How to Use Allspice in Recipes?
Allspice is a warm spice and often goes into a dish blended with other spices to make the dish more unique. It is a strong spice yet very pleasant.
It’s a perfect spice to make a delicious apple pie or a pumpkin.
If you don’t have allspice available, you can concoct your own by mixing cloves, cinnamons, and nutmeg. The flavor may not be entirely the same but very close.
Ground allspice is easier to use and mix in the recipe. However, its whole form will stay fresh for longer, like with all other spices.
Nonetheless, if you want to ground a certain batch of allspice for easy use, you can do it in more than one way.
One method is the traditional mortar and pestle, and another is in a grinder.
You can use allspice in all other pumpkin dishes such as bread, muffins, and cake.
Have you ever wondered why fall dishes such as Swedish Meatballs and Jamaican Jerk Chicken are so distinctively tasty?
Well, it’s no more a mystery because it’s allspice that lends the distinct flavor.
Make your favorite mincemeat pie with a filling comprising of dried fruits, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and Allspice and take the taste is another level.
Let Martha Stewart tell you how to make use of Allspice in a gourmet fashion with her Spiced Honey-Glazed Potato Wedges and Soy Ginger Pork Chops recipes.
Allspice is outstanding in every way. You can use it to enhance your recipes and giving them a distinct flavor.
You may also consume it for medicinal purposes and its nutritional value. If you can’t procure it, concoct your own by mixing other spices as directed above.
It’s something to complete your meals and add to your diet for a healthier living.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does allspice taste good?
Allspice has a strong, warm aroma and flavor that is similar to a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and cloves. Some people find the taste to be robust yet subtle at the same time. It can easily overpower other flavors when used in excess and should be added sparingly. However, when used correctly it can add depth and complexity to savory dishes, sweet baked treats and even beverages.
What is allspice good in?
Allspice is a pungent and fragrant spice that has unique flavor characteristics. It’s often used in Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and Indian cuisines. This versatile spice can be used to enhance savory dishes such as stews, meats like pork or chicken, soups, chili con carne, and even desserts like cookies or cakes. Allspice can also be used in marinades, sauces, and as a dry rub for barbecued meats.
Is allspice the same as pumpkin pie spice?
Although both spices have a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice, they are not exactly the same. Pumpkin Pie Spice has more of a sweet flavor with lower levels of allspice and a bit more of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Allspice has more pungent aroma and is spicier than the Pumpkin Pie Spice.
It’s also what gives jerk chicken its distinctive flavor. Allspice can be used in other dishes, such as soups, stews, cakes and desserts, while Pumpkin Pie Spice is usually used in pies or other more traditional sweets like cookies.
In general, Allspice is a much more versatile spice than Pumpkin Pie Spice.