Allspice

schwebende Pimentkörner

Allspice, also known as pimento, comes from Jamaica. The fruit on the allspice tree has a strong, peppery flavor reminiscent of cinnamon and cloves.

liegende Pimentkörner neben einem Holzlöffel

Allspice as a Spice

This spice was given the name “allspice” because it tastes like a combination of cloves and pepper. Its spicy, aromatic flavor also contains hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Christopher Columbus brought the spice back to Europe from America, along with chili. Allspice has been hugely popular since then, particularly in the UK: It is found in pies, plum pudding, sauces and preserves. In Scandinavia, allspice is used primarily in the fish industry, while in Central Europe it is used to season sausages and game dishes. Its most popular use is in ketchup, which is mainly seasoned using allspice.

angeschnittene TartePiment Neugewuerz Verwendung 2

Usage

With its mild, peppery heat, allspice is perfect for sausage products, fish dishes, marinades, preserves, game dishes and festive baked goods. In fact, its versatility is another reason why it is called “allspice.” This universal spice is often combined with bay and juniper. Allspice can be used whole or ground. It has a particularly strong, aromatic flavor when ground fresh using a pestle and mortar. Once ground, allspice should be used as soon as possible as it quickly loses its flavor.

Tip!

It's important to bear the following in mind when grinding whole berries: One crushed allspice berry adds as much flavor to a dish as ten whole berries.

Piment Pflanze in der Natur
Ursprungsgebiet von Piment auf Weltkarte: Mexico

The Plant

The evergreen allspice tree can grow to up to 12 meters tall and is native to Jamaica, but is also grown in Mexico and Honduras. The spice is produced from the tree’s fruits when they are not yet fully ripe. The fruits acquire their brown color as they dry in the sun. The indigenous populations of Mexico and Honduras used allspice to preserve fish. Today, it is used in preserves around the world. Christopher Columbus brought allspice back from the New World to Europe, where the Spanish named it pimienta de Jamaica (Jamaica pepper). However, the spice only really became popular in the 17th century when the English conquered Jamaica and started importing it back to Europe.

Factbox

Scientific Name
Pimenta dioica
Family
Myrtle family (Myrtaceae)
Other Names
Pimento, Jamaica pimento, Jamaica pepper, pimenta, myrtle pepper
Origin
Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico