allspice [awl-spahys] noun
Also known as Jamaica pepper. A dried, unripe berry from the evergreen pimento tree. While it is native to South America and the West Indies, most allspice is supplied from Jamaica. The dried fruit looks like a pea-sized black peppercorn and can be purchased whole or ground. Its name references its scent and tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
This spice can be used as a substitute for when cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are all included in a recipe; conversely, a combination of these three spices can be used as a substitution for allspice, although the results will lose a little of allspice’s unique flavor in translation. The spice is also traditionally used in brines, mulling spices, fruitcakes and pies (most famously pumpkin pie). Whole berries can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dry space, while ground allspice will lose flavor more quickly (as with all ground spices).
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