I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Allspice

Allspice is the fruit of the Pimenta dioica tree, native to southern Mexico, Central America and the Greater Antilles, and now grown in many tropical regions of the world.  The tree is mid-sized and similar in appearance to the Bay laurel tree. The fruits are harvested green, then dried in the sun, usually on large cement slabs or on tarps near the trees.  The brown, dried fruits look very much like peppercorns.  The English believed ground allspice was a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, which is why it was named allspice. 

Allspice is one of the most important flavors in Caribbean cooking.  The fresh leaves are used to infuse flavor into foods, then removed before serving, in much the same way as bay leaves.  However, the dried leaves don’t retain their flavor, so they’re not sold in the marketplace.  The leaves and wood are also used for smoking meats.

Allspice is used in savory foods in much of the world.  It is used in moles in Mexico and Central America.  In Europe it’s used as a pickling spice, and it is a common ingredient in sausage preparation.  Middle Eastern cuisine uses allspice to flavor stews and meat dishes, and it is used extensively in Palestinian cooking.  In the U.S. it is found primarily in desserts.  In the West Indies “pimento dram,” a liqueur, is made from allspice. 

Purchase allspice whole, whenever possible, and grind it to flavor sauces and barbecue rubs as a flavorful “secret ingredient.”  While freshly ground allspice is very fragrant and flavorful, the ground variety does not maintain its full aroma for long.

Follow me

Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
Follow me

Latest posts by Patricia Rain (see all)

Related Posts

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

Cart

Newsletter Signup

Join our community, get news on issues of concern about our planet and its inhabitants, recipes and deals. Over 5,000 subscribers!


Recent Posts

Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is ORGANICALLY grown.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

Newsletter Signup

Join our community, get news on issues of concern about our planet and its inhabitants, recipes and deals. Over 5,000 subscribers!


The Vanilla Company