Where does allspice grow?
Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as 'Pimenta dioica', which is a tree member of the myrtle family. It is a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world.
Allspice was so named because the flavour of the dried berry resembles a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Early Spanish explorers, mistaking it for a type of pepper, called it 'pimenta', hence its botanical name and some of its common names: Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento
The flavor of allspice brings to mind cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper. Allspice is used in Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines, among others. The versatile seasoning can be used to flavor desserts, side dishes, main courses, and beverages, including mulled wine and hot cider.
Allspice can be used in ground form or whole. Once ground, allspice quickly can lose its pungency. Ground spices are more intense than whole cloves or berries. Whole allspice berries are sometimes used in stews and soups, and for pickling and brining