Allspice’s flavor evokes a blend of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. You can use it in place of any of those spices, and then some.
WHAT IS ALLSPICE?
Don’t let its name (or its flavor) fool you: Allspice is not a blend of other spices and is actually the pea-sized berry of an evergreen tree, native to the Caribbean and Central America.
WHAT IS ALLSPICE USED FOR?
You can use allspice in a variety of recipes that are sweet or savory such as cookies, pumpkin pie, spice cake, spicing for sausage and glazes for ham. It’s a key flavor in Jamaican jerk seasoning, the fiery blend of herbs and spices that turns chicken or pork into an instant party.
TYPES OF ALLSPICE
Use whole berries rather than ground allspice for slow-cooked stews, braises, mulling and pickles. Whole berries are less intense than its ground form. Whole allspice is also stewed with sauerkraut to provide a sweet, aromatic note to the tartness of fermented cabbage.
The pickling of anything and everything—cucumbers, beets, onions, cauliflower, green beans—is ideal for whole allspice. One of our favorite pickling brines is allspice berries simmered in cider vinegar with mustard seed, bay leaves, black peppercorns and salt. Throw in a dried chili if you’d like a little heat.
Whole allspice can set the tone for a cozy evening of hot rum toddies, spiced red wine or mulled apple cider. Simmer it gently in your beverage of choice. Add cinnamon sticks and fresh orange slices for a festive twist.
Tomatoes and beef double down on flavor when allspice and ground cinnamon join the mix. Together, these four ingredients form the base for Cincinnati chili. Serve it “two-way” with spaghetti or go wild and dish it up “five-way” with spaghetti, grated cheddar cheese, chopped onions and cooked beans.
Brining brings flavor and juiciness to larger cuts of meat, like pork roasts and whole chickens. Use allspice, plus bay leaves, thyme and crushed red pepper to spice any recipe for brining liquid. Pat the meat dry before roasting or grilling—we find that helps the surface brown more evenly.
Similar to whole berries, you can use ground allspice when you’re looking for a fragrant, somewhat peppery note for sweet and savory dishes. Ground spices are more intense than whole berries. We recommend using ground allspice for desserts, such as pumpkin cake or pie, spice cakes, and gingerbread for easier mixing.
We love ground allspice in molasses cookies, where it’s often mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s excellent in baked custard as well. We suggest dusting the jiggly surface of the custard with ground allspice as soon as you pull the dish from the oven. You’ll have a dish that looks, smells and tastes irresistible.
Its ability to balance fruit’s sweetness with zesty warmth makes ground allspice a perfect addition to fruit pies and homemade preserves. We love adding just a hint of it to homemade jam for the fragrance, as well as the taste.
Caribbean cuisine features allspice in many dishes, including meat and sweet potato stews. It’s also a must-have in Jamaican jerk seasoning, a zesty blend of allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and salt.
Throughout the United Kingdom, allspice lends spicy fragrance to the holidays. English Christmas pudding, winter gingerbread and fruitcakes combine the peppery warmth of allspice with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Allspice is also a popular spice in Greek cuisine as it is used with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and cumin to season tomato sauce and marinades.
FLAVORS THAT GO WITH ALLSPICE
Add some more flavor to your meals with these herbs and spices. They go great with allspice.
- Thyme: The plant’s tiny leaves—just a quarter inch at most in length—must be carefully harvested, cleaned, dried and milled to retain their rich color, piney aroma and earthy flavor. In the ancient world, thyme was a symbol of courage and bravery. One of the highest compliments to pay a Greek warrior, for instance, was to say he smelled of thyme. And in the Middle Ages, thyme was used to fend off nightmares. Today, our pure thyme holds its greatest place of honor in the kitchen as one of our most popular herbs and goes great with allspice.
- Cumin: Cumin is one of the top 10 selling spices in the U.S. The spice dates back to Egypt 4,000 years ago, and McCormick Cumin is hand-harvested, sun-dried and carefully screened so you know you're getting nothing but the purest flavor. Add this spice for a warm flavor and earthy color to everyday soups, stews, meats and vegetables.
- Cinnamon: Our pure cinnamon lends a warm, sweet aroma to everything from morning toast to cookies, and it also has a savory side, with earthy, mahogany-colored flavors and mixes well with ground allspice.
- Ginger: The very finest ginger comes from small holder farmers on one to two acre plots of land off the Malabar Coast of India. Ginger has enjoyed some unusual uses, including warding off the plague during Henry VIII’s time. In the 19th century, ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale and then stirred into the drink with a hot poker. Today, ginger is an essential ingredient in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg’s sweet distinctive flavor is traditional in gingerbread, eggnog and rice pudding. Add a pinch to scalloped potatoes, creamed spinach and béchamel sauce.
GRAB YOUR ALLSPICE PRODUCTS!
- McCormick Ground Allspice
- McCormick Whole Allspice
- McCormick Gourmet Whole Jamaican Allspice
- McCormick Gourmet All Natural Ground Jamaican Allspice
AND TRY THESE ALLSPICE RECIPES:
ALLSPICE DESSERT RECIPES
- Charred Orange Sorbet With Warm Rum Sauce And Spiced Cookie Bars
- Allspice Spice Cake
- Molasses Spice Cookies
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Spiced Baked Pineapple Rings
- Spice Cake With Maple Frosting
- Pear And Cranberry Crumble Pie
ALLSPICE DRINK RECIPES
- Slow Cooker Spiced Cider
- Gingerbread Latte
- Charred Orange Colada
- Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Apple Cocktail
- Warm Spiced Cranberry Punch
ALLSPICE FOOD RECIPES
- Cuban Roast Pork Tacos
- Sizzling Island Marinated Pork
- Cuban Mojo Chicken Tacos
- Caribbean Hot Pot Broth With Papaya Pica Sauce
- Apple And Sage Pork Chops
- Jerk Chicken With Roasted Plantains
LEARN MORE ABOUT SPICES
- 5 (Almost) Magical Spice Pairings You Need To Try Right Now
- Tips & Tricks For Organizing Your Spice Cabinet
- How Long Do Spices Last?
- 5 Unsung Spices You Should Really Be Using
- 3 Secret Weapon Spices
- The Measurements To Convert Common Whole Spices Into Ground
TRY SOME OF OUR FAVORITE CUISINES
Ready to use more allspice in your recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with our meal-planning tool. Create a Flavor Profile to save all your favorite recipes and create grocery lists for easy shopping. You will also get custom recommendations based on your saved items to make your meals!