Herb and Spices – Allspice

A versatile spice used in a variety of dishes!

Common Name: Allspice

Latin Name: Pimenta Dioica

Other Names: Jamaica pepper, Pimento

Parts of the plant used – berries contain small seeds that are the allspice spice.

Growing Tips/Origin:

A tropical evergreen tree native to Central America and the West Indies and a member of the Myrtle family. Can plant the dried berries or a small tree. It’s more of a challenge to grow from seed but can be done. See info here: https://www.gardenguides.com/130837-fuschia-flowering-tree.html

An allspice tree does well indoors or out but does best outside in tropical climates.  It needs sunlight for at least 40 percent of the day. Keep the tree well watered. As the top 2 inches of soil dries, add more water.

Medicinal Uses:

Allspice contains plant nutrients that show antibacterial, hypotensive, anti-neuralgic and analgesic properties as well as anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.

Culinary Uses:

An ingredient in Jamaican jerk seasoning, mole sauces and often added to soups, stews as well as flavoring for pickled vegetables. Most popular culinary use is baked desserts such as pies, spice cakes, bread pudding and gingerbread.

Pairs well with:

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • Dishes with ginger (such as gingerbread)
  • Spice cakes, cookies and pies
  • Curry dishes
  • Ground beef and lamb dishes

Any interesting factoids:

  • Early Spanish explorers, mistaking the allspice tree for a type of pepper. They called it pimenta, which explains it botanical name and such terms as pimento and Jamaicapepper
  • Berries are picked before fully ripened and dried in the sun with the color turning from green to reddish brown
  • Natural alternative to pesticides and fungicides.