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What is Allspice? How Can I Use it?

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It is often used to substitute cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg but there isn't a single spice that can capture the essence of allspice.

Allspice is often confused with the term ‘mixed spices' but it isn't a spice blend at all. It is a fragrant berry used in both savory and sweet dishes. Curious to know more about allspice? We've got you covered!

What is Allspice?

Allspice is native to Jamaica. It is one of the spices Christopher Columbus encountered on his trip to the island back in 1494. He mistook it for black pepper, the main spice he set out for, which is why the tree that produces allspice is referred to as the pimiento tree (pimiento is Spanish for pepper).

Prized as a preservative and warming agent, allspice is commonly used in food, beverages, candy, perfumes and medicine.

Fun fact: During the Napoleonic wars Russian soldiers sprinkled allspice in their boots to keep their feet warm.

Uses for Allspice

Round and small, allspice is used in Jamaica's famous jerk seasoning.

Its antiseptic qualities made it ideal for the preservation of meat centuries ago. Germans and Scandinavians still use it for that purpose, whether its in sausage making or pickling fish or meats.

Allspice is also an ingredient in some recipes for Mexican chicken mole (such as the one pictured below).

Allspice is featured in the French spice mix quatre épices and is also used to season the classic Greek recipe of stuffed grape leaves.

While it is used in many savory dishes, allspice is famous the world over for its use in pastries. It's found in everything from pumpkin and apple pies to gingerbread cookies.

Allspice is also widely used in the production of soft drinks, flavored rums and liqueurs. It is also popular as a mulling spice.

How to Buy Allspice

When buying allspice, opt for buying it whole. The berries should be round, even textured, dark brown and aromatic. The spice loses a lot of its potency when ground so it is best to grind only when needed.


via Bulgarian Spices

How to Store Allspice

Keep allspice in an airtight container away from light and moisture.

Medicinal benefits of Allspice

Allspice is full of antioxidants and has warming and antiseptic properties. It's been used to treat athlete's foot, alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and ease menopausal symptoms. Studies have shown it can also help lower blood pressure, according to Healing Spices, written by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD and Debora Yost.

Interested in other spices? Get to know more about cardamom.

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What is Allspice? How Can I Use it? was originally posted at https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/food-drinks/thymeless-tips-allspice/ by Rose Y. Colón-Singh

 

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Well, it felt like the heat would never relent, but finally, the seasons are starting to change here in Durham. It's not quite feeling like fall yet though, but more how a pleasant summer should be—warm and comfortable, just generally good times to be outside. So I have not yet transitioned into my orange veggie, fall extravaganza mode, but instead am enjoying the last hurrays of the summer season, and this grilled vegetable and Israeli couscous salad is good note to go out on.

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I seriously think this Meatwave season has been cursed. In no other year have I had to cancel or postpone more Meatwaves, and when we did host cookouts, we often faced adverse weather conditions. This particular event, comprised of Mid-Atlnatic specialities, was supposed to happen back in March, but a continuing cold snap forced its delay. Then it was supposed to happen in September, but again we were foiled, this time by Hurricane Florence, so we pushed it to October. When it came to Meatwave week this time, we faced yet another hurricane, but luckily this one passed through quickly and we were looking at sunny and pleasant weather on a Sunday for once. Then that morning came, and what had been a favorable forecast turned into a cold and rainy morning, but luckily the rain stopped right in time for the meat to start flowing, and while the sun never did come out, we were finally able to put this long-awaited Meat-Atlantic in the books.

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Thanksgiving Stuffed Roast Pumpkins

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