Allspice is one of those unique spices that works well in both sweet and savory dishes. I always assumed allspice was a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other pumpkin pie-type spices. Allspice, in fact, comes from dried berries of the pimenta dioica tree, native to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
Allspice is widely used in Caribbean food, particularly in making jerk. Allspice is also used in many Mexican and central American cooking as well as Middle Eastern savory cuisines. Add a small amount of allspice to marinades for lamb, beef and chicken as well as a variety of vegetables, including carrots, butternut squash, onions and potatoes.
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In the US and europe, allspice is primarily used in dessert dishes such as pumpkin pie and spice cakes. Allspice is also used in mulled wine.
Nutritional and medicinal uses
Allspice is mineral rich, and contains high amounts of Vitamins A, B6 and C. Allspice has anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in digestion and has analgesic and antiseptic properties.