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Allspice Is Native to Jamaica, Produces Seeds With Berries

Allspice is a very universal specimen used in a variety of dishes. This spice comes from dried fruit on an eloquent large tropical evergreen tree. The tree is part of the Myrtle plant family. It is native to the beautiful island of Jamaica. It is also native to Central America and the West Indies. Mexico also cultivates this plant. In Jamaica it is widely known as Jamaican pepper. This is truly a very unique plant specimen.

This Myrtle family tree is a very slow grower and can take up to seven years to produce berries. Having patience will pay off for the growers as once this magnificent tree produces its first berries, it will continue producing berries for up to fifty years.

When the berries first appear, they are green in color. The berries are small, about one fourth inch in diameter. Harvesting is done in the heat of summer between July and August. Workers climb the trees and break off twigs which have multiple berries.

In many countries the native women and children pick up the berries and separate the green ones from the ripe ones. The green berries are the only ones used for making allspice. The ripe ones are not used in drying the whole berry or for grinding.

The green berries are placed in the sun to dry. This can take anywhere from one to two weeks. The key to a successful product happens during the drying process. The green berries will begin to turn to a reddish brown color, which is their final color.

There are two seeds in each berry, but it is the outside coating that produces the aroma and flavor we all love today. The leaves from the tree also produce an aroma.

In the colder months, one of the things Herbee and I love to make is nice warm apple cider using oranges, allspice and a few other ingredients. The cider simmers in a crock pot all day. It fills the house with an incredible aroma, and the first taste of the cider is absolutely delightful. Yum!

Allspice Seeds And Ground

Whole Allspice
Ground Allspice

The whole reddish brown seeds or the ground version are used to season many different dishes, as well as for other purposes. I will take the whole seeds and grind them up in a coffee grinder. This gives you the ground spice immediately.

You will find allspice in commercial and homemade potpourris and sachets. In foods the seeds are used in pickling, meats, gravy, and in some sausages and other prepared meats. Ground, it's a wonderful addition in meat loafs, cookies, and breads.

In Jamaica a popular item is a pipe that is used for smoking the berries. The smoking of the pipe is sometimes accompanied with a smooth cordial.

Herbee's Hot Buzzing Spices Books

The Complete Spice Book

Spices Of Life Book

Aromatherapy Recipe Book

This spice also has some medicinal value. The powder from the berries is known to help with a toothache or sensitive gums. The powder is put into an empty can and when needed, a finger is dipped in the powder and rubbed against the aching tooth or sore gum.

The powder also can be used with warm water as a mouthwash. Always check with a professional before taking any herb or spice.

We find this to be one of the most practical spices to use today. Between the flavor and aroma, allspice has so many different values for professional chefs, as well as cooking in the home.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Other Spices Besides Allspice --- Barberry Shrub

Outdoor Features --- Evergreen Plants

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