Allspice is a common spice. It's the dried fruit of a plant from the same family as pepper. It's primarily used in sweet foods.
Allspice is the dried, immature fruit of the pimenta tree (scientific name: Pimenta dioica). The dried berries are then sold whole or ground. Eucalyptus, guava and clove trees are in the same botanical family (Myrtaceae or myrtle Family). Other names for the spice are pimento, pimenta, kurundu, myrtle pepper and Jamaica pepper. Some of these names can be confusing -- pimienta is the Spanish for pepper; pimento is also the name of a different kind of pepper. The tree is an evergreen native to Mexico, Central America and the West Indies.
Allspice can inhibit yeast in large quantities. So be careful using more than 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour in baking when you want it to rise.
- Wikipedia's article on allspice
- About.com's home cooking section on Allspice Cooking Tips, Measures, and Substitutions
- Floridata on allspice
- Food.com's Kitchen Dictionary has a definition of allspice
- ↑ Allspice Cooking Tips, Measures, and Substitutions from About.com's Home Cooking section