Allspice

Appears in

The Professional Pastry Chef

By Bo Friberg

Published 1989

  • About

Many people mistakenly believe allspice to be a manufactured combination of spices. It is actually the berry of the Pimenta dioica tree, an evergreen belonging to the myrtle family that is indigenous to Central and South America and the West Indies. (This pimento tree is not the same as the sweet red-fleshed pepper known as pimientó, familiar to many as the stuffing in green martini olives and as the source of paprika.) The name allspice is a consequence of its flavor being similar to a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The pea-sized dried berries are reddish brown and are available both whole and ground. The flavor is superior if stored in the whole form and ground just before use. Jamaica currently produces most of the world’s supply, so allspice is sometimes called Jamaican pepper. Allspice is used in cookies, cakes, and pies and is often an ingredient in pumpkin pie recipes. It is also used in savory cooking.