Allspice, or Jamaican pepper, is perfect for both savory and sweet dishes, and at the same time has many health benefits.
Which ones are they?
And what can you replace it with?
You will learn all this and much more in our article!
What exactly is a new spice?
It is a type of spice that comes from the allspice tree, from which unripe green berries are collected and then dried in the sun. The dark red-brown fruits have a slightly warty surface with a small circular depression. New spices have a pleasant aroma and a slightly spicy taste. In the taste, we can smell black pepper with a touch of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. We sell both whole and ground spices.
Health benefits of eating new spices
Allspice has many health benefits such as:
- relieves the symptoms of menopause
- helps fight cancer
- has antimicrobial and antifungal effects
- helps against headaches and toothaches as well as against muscle spasms
- relieves muscle pain
- supports blood circulation
- has anti-inflammatory effects
- reduces appetite and increases the feeling of fullness
- is effective against flatulence
- helps control blood sugar levels
See the following table for the nutritional value of 1 teaspoon of ground allspice.
|Nutritional values|| Allspice|
Vitamins and minerals
Also look at the amount of minerals and vitamins that 1 teaspoon of ground allspice contains.
|Vitamins and minerals||Allspice (1 teaspoon)||% of the recommended daily dose|
|Vitamin A||0.51 mcg||0%|
|Vitamin B1||0.002 mg||0%|
|Vitamin B2||0.001 mg||0%|
|Vitamin B3||0.054 mg||0%|
|Vitamin B6||0.004 mg||0%|
|Vitamin C||0.7 mg||1%|
Whole or ground?
Allspice can be used in ground form or whole. New spices can quickly lose their pungency after being ground, so it’s best to buy whole berries and process them in an electric spice grinder or mortar and pestle as needed. Be careful not to grind more than you need.
Whole allspice berries are used in stews, sauces, soups and pickles.
The ground form is more likely to be used in spreads or desserts such as pumpkin pies or gingerbread.
How to buy new spices and how to store them?
You can find allspice, both whole and ground, in the spice section of most grocery stores.
Store it in an airtight container out of direct sunlight, ideally in a cool, dark place. It will last you years, whether whole or ground, however, ground spices lose their flavor quickly.
How to use new spices in the kitchen?
Allspice, whether as berries or ground, is used in many cuisines around the world, from Europe to the Middle East, to Africa to the Caribbean and Central America.
In our country, it is hard to imagine sauces without new spices, the popular sirloin sauce can be an example (be inspired by our luxurious recipes for sirloin sauce 6 times differently). Allspice is generally used in both cooking and baking. It is also suitable for game, fish, marinades and pâtés .
Whole berries can be added to beef or lamb along with slices or cloves of garlic. It is best to add whole berries where liquid is present such as pickles when pickling vegetables including pickles and mushrooms, broths, hot drinks, sauces, soups, simple syrups and stews .
If you want to soften the taste of the berries a little, heat them for a while in a cast iron pan on the stove or bake them for 10 minutes in the oven before using them as a spice.
Ground allspice is used to flavor meats, soups, stews, vegetables and baked goods just as you would ground nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves. It is usually added at the beginning of cooking or baking. It also tastes great in Tabbouleh salad . You can also use them in gingerbread dough, cookies, cookie dough and various cakes . And the next time you need to make hot chocolate, add some ground allspice for added depth and a hint of spice!
New spices almost always benefit from the application of heat (ie cook them into a pudding rather than sprinkle them over a cake).
Allspice berries are not its only useful component. Fresh leaves can add a pleasant flavor to dishes (like bay leaves). Wood is used to smoke meat and sausages .
More tips on how to use new spices
- Roast the whole berries in a dry pan and then cook them in boiled must or wine , or you can infuse them in milk and cream to make homemade ice cream .
- Cook the berries with apricots, fresh ginger and lemon for a great base for an intoxicating marmalade .
- Prepare a great pie filling by mixing minced meat with dried fruit, new spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- Use it in pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin pies or muffins.
- During the winter, warm yourself with mulled wine or apple cider , with which new spices go well.
- Spice up your apple pie with a combination of allspice and cinnamon.
- Prepare luxurious meatballs from minced meat, breadcrumbs, black pepper, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
What to replace the new spices with?
The new spice is unique and irreplaceable. However, if you don’t have it on hand at the moment and need to replace it with something, prepare the following mixture of spices:
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Combine the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a small glass and shake until combined.
- Use as you would allspice.
If you want to substitute whole allspice berries for ground allspice, or vice versa, the conversion is six whole allspice berries equivalent to 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice.
How are new spices grown?
As already mentioned, the new spice comes from the dried green fruits of the Pimenta dioica tree from the Myrtaceae family, which reaches a height of 9-20 meters. It occurs in Central American countries such as Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras, where it was probably introduced by migratory birds. Originally from the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica, it was first identified around 1509. The fruits are picked before they are fully ripe and then dried in the sun. During drying, the berries turn from green to dull reddish brown. The almost spherical fruit, about 5 mm in diameter, contains two kidney-shaped, dark brown seeds. Here, the pimento tree will grow, but it will not bear fruit.
The history of new spices
The new spice was used by the Mayans as an embalming agent and by other South American Indians to flavor chocolate . These natives also used it to preserve meat . Meat preserved with new spices was known in Arawak as boucan , and so later Europeans who prepared meat in this way became known as boucaniers, which eventually evolved into “buccaneers”.
The new spice was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus from his expedition to Jamaica and he named it Jamaican pepper , most likely because of the similarity of the fruits to the pepper tree and the slightly burning taste. Since it was an unknown spice, it was given the name “New Spice”. Due to its omnivorousness, in the world we can meet names such as “the taste of everything” or “four spices” in translation. Currently, Jamaica is the largest producer of allspice, where the best quality berries also come from, and Jamaican rum is also produced here, where allspice is the main ingredient.