Pimento / Allspice

Jamaican pepper, newspice, kurundu, spice pepper, myrtle pepper

Pimento, also called pimiento, allspice, Jamaican pepper, newspice, kurundu, spice pepper, myrtle pepper are dried unripe berries of Pimenta dioica, small tree native to West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Allspice resembles is aroma clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper combined together.

The name pimento can be easily mistaken with pimento peppers / cherry peppers that are red hot peppers, from Spanish word “pimento” meaning “pepper”. Do not mistake them also with myrtle that have very similar use in Medditorenian countires. Berries are used similar to allspice, leaves and wood are used to grill food.

dried pimento allspice leaves for jerk chicken

Pimento / allspice is one of the most important spices in Caribbean cuisine, for instance jerk chicken is seasoned with allspice berries and barbecued over pimento wood and leaves that give it smoky flavour.

Berries and sometimes leaves are used for pickling. They are also used in traditional Polish dish, bigos.

In UK allspice quite commonly used as well, also to flavour cakes.

Pimento berries are also ingredient of rainbow pepper mix and curry powders.

Some recipes calling for allspice:

Banana, Buttermilk and Allspice Shake

Smoked Paprika Chicken on Moroccan Couscous with Grilled Peppers

Grochówka (Polish Navy Pea Soup)

Bigos (Polish Sour Cabbage Cooked with Smoked Prunes, Apples and Wild Mushrooms)

Coconut Chicken with Sesame Seeds & Baby Potatoes

Your thoughts…

  1. All spice are a must-have in my kitchen.

  2. I love allspice. I used it a lot and especially in tourtière.

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