Many of us may have Allspice sitting on our spice racks at home, but do we know its origin and how to correctly use it in cooking?

The name Allspice might suggest that it’s made up of a mixture of spices. However, Allspice is in fact a single spice made from dried berries from the Pimenta Dioica plant! Allspice can be sold as whole berries or in ground form and is usually mistaken for Peppercorns.

Allspice was first discovered in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean whilst on his intrepid sea voyages. Allspice is generally used in the Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Jamaican cuisine. And today Jamaica is the world’s largest producer of Allspice!

All Spice first imported to Europe?

The Spanish claim to be the first to import Allspice to Europe, so thanks to the Spanish, Allspice is now available to purchase from a wide variety of grocers in the U.K. which can be used in a selection of delicious cuisines.

Other benefits of Allspice

Allspice has proved to be very beneficial in the treatment of arthritic and rheumatic pains and other muscular and joint problems. The application of Allspice helps to draw out the inflammation and increases the blood supply to the wounded area, providing a warm and calming effect.

Allspice is also known to settle the nervous system, which perhaps could benefit or be helpful for stress and anxiety.

How is Allspice used in cooking?

Allspice flavours are said to be very similar to the mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. Allspice is well-known for being used as the main ingredient to make Jamaican jerk seasoning, a marinade mixture, which is used to flavour meats and poultry. The meat is marinated in the spicy seasoning and then cooked over an open fire, where Allspice branches are used for the firewood.

Allspice is also commonly used in milk puddings and desserts; in Caribbean soups, stews and curries; and in chutneys, jams and pickles. However, around Christmas time, it’s fantastic in mulled wine. Check out a recipe we discovered online here.

The next Ginger and Spice Festival will take place during September 2020.

For all information about the Ginger and Spice Festival, Market Drayton, including the fringe events, please sign up to our ebulletin below or visit the  website: