Allspice (Pimenta dioica) is a spice native to the Caribbeans, southern Mexico and Central America. It is also known as Jamaica pepper, kurundu, myrtle pepper, pimenta and newspice. The name Allspice came about in 1621 by the English, who thought it was a combination of the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Allspice is also used in other unrelated species such as Calycanthus floridus (Carolina allspice), Chimonathus fragrans (Japanese allspice), Lindera benzoin (Wild allspice) and also to refer to the herb Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita).

Allspice is not as many people believe, a mixture of spices. Rather, it is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. Pimenta dioica is a small tree grown in the tropics and subtropics. The plant is dioecious (separate male and female plant), so it is advisable to plant both male andfemale plant in close range in order to allow the fruits to develop. The fruits are picked when they are still green and unripe, and dried under the sun. The dried fruits are brown and resemble large brown peppercorns. The whole fruits have longer shelf life compared to powdered one, and more aromatic when freshly ground before use.

Allspice is used in seasoning, sauces, desserts and pickling, and as an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powders. Allspice plant contains a weak antimicrobial agent called eugenol, a relief for indigestion and gas.

Whole allpice berriesWhole allpice berries
Author: Jonathunder (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Allspice foliageAllspice foliage
Author: J.M.Garg (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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