Other names: Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta
Appearance: The berries, when dried, are brown and resemble peppercorns.
Typically used: Whole
Origin: Allspice is the dried unripe berries of the pimento tree, an evergreen shrub native to Central America. Today, the spice is cultivated all around the world, in warm climates.
Flavor: The complex flavor of allspice gives the spice it's name since it is considered to combine the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It pairs well with other warming spices such as cardamom and is balanced well with sweet, salty and umami flavors.
Aroma: Sweet, spicy, warm
Culinary uses: For the most aromatic and intense flavor, the whole allspice berries are best ground immediately before use. Allspice is a staple in Caribbean food and is central in the Caribbean jerk seasoning. In the United States, you will mainly find allspice in dessert recipes, while in the Middle East, allspice is highlighted in savory meat dishes. Allspice is also a common ingredient in sausages. In Indian cuisine, the spice is paired with beef and lamb.