Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

allspice the dried, unripe berry of Pimenta dioica, a tree of tropical America which is mainly cultivated in Jamaica and is the only spice whose production is confined to the New World. Efforts to introduce it to other parts of the world have been largely unsuccessful.

The English name allspice was given to the spice because its flavour resembles a mixture of other spices, especially cloves and black pepper; some people also detect hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. But allspice is not the only name current in English; pimento is much used in commerce, as a result of confusion long ago.