Allspice Berries are smooth, round, mahogany brown, and emanate an intoxicating swirl of spicy black pepper, woodsy clove and cinnamon, and brisk ginger, with a tiny hint of licorice that peeks out from time to time. At first taste, the volatile oils come forward, carrying a fresh burst of pepper and clove, accompanied by a bit of a cool sensation. With a volatile oil content that is approximately 2-3% of the total weight, this potent little berry offers rich flavors and aromas with a mild anesthetic effect. Eugenol is the primary component in the volatile oil and has anesthetic and antiseptic qualities.
When Christopher Columbus encountered allspice on the island of Jamaica during his second voyage to the New World, he looked at the smooth, round, brown-black berries and immediately misnamed them. He called them pimiento, or “pepper”, because he thought he was looking at peppercorns. Allspice is native to southern Mexico and grows exclusively in the western hemisphere, having found compatible growing conditions in several regions throughout the Caribbean. Mexican Allspice berries have the largest size and darkest color relative to other allspice growing countries. The allspice tree and fruit are known colloquially in Mexico as pimienta gorda, or “fat pepper”, because the berries are so big and plump.
Tips From Our Kitchen
Allspice Berries are standard ingredients in the seed-based sauces of southern Mexico, called pipians. Make a pipian with red chiles, peanuts, and allspice berries. Create a jerk seasoning by toasting allspice berries and spicy peppers; grind and rub on chicken, pork, or goat. Add to pickling brine and pickle onions, beets, berries, or a summery ceviche. Grind into homemade mustard. Blend into a tomato-cream sauce and serve over shrimp and pasta. Make a mushroom and bacon-hearty hunter’s sauce with an allspice twist. Add allspice to caramel for an autumn-spiced treat, toast and grind and stir into pumpkin pie, or sprinkle over rice pudding. Steep with rum and for 10 days and give classic cocktails a boost with a splash of allspice dram. Allspice can be potent so be judicious when first using, so it doesn’t overpower a dish. We also offer Ground Allspice.
Depending on the time of year and availability our Allspice Berries may be cultivated in Guatemala, Honduras, or Mexico.
This product is certified kosher.
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*