a small evergreen tree native to Jamaica and Central America. It closely resembles large brown peppercorns, and comes whole or ground. Allspice releases a flavor of a peppery blend of
cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Despite its name this is a spice not a blend. If you are out of allspice you can replace this by mixing one part nutmeg
with two parts each of cinnamon and cloves.
Allspice is used in recipes for meats, poultry and seafood (especially Caribbean recipes and Jamaican specialties like jerk chicken). It can be used when making soup, curries, pates, terrines, sweet potatoes, marinades, pickled herring, rice dishes, cakes and pumpkin pie. If you can find it, go for Jamaican Allspice which is
considered the best. It is an assertive spice so use sparingly.
Here are two of my favorite recipes using allspice: Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Creme Fraiche and Pumpkin Seeds, which can be served as an appetizer or main course, and this delicious recipe for Honey Roasted Hens with Pomegranates.
Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Creme Fraiche and Pumpkin Seeds
With the alluring aromas of cinnamon and a blend of special spices (ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and a dash of chili), you know this soup is going to be special. This pumpkin soup recipe is from the Mesa Grill Cookbook: Explosive Flavors from the Southwestern Kitchen–a must have for your cookbook collection. Click here for the recipe
A wonderful choice for a romantic meal for two, this recipe for honey roasted hens with pomegranates is sure to please. While this recipe requires marinating overnight, this is an easy, seductive recipe where pomegranate juice adds flavor and color to these spicy, honey-kissed holiday hens. Click here for the recipe