Allspice is the harvested and dried berry of the Jamaican pepper tree. The spice has the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, juniper and peppercorn. It is not a combination of many spices, but is pure ground Jamaican berry.
Allspice can be purchased already ground or in berry form that can be ground at home using a pepper mill or spice grinder. Allspice should be stored in a tightly sealed container, in a cool, dark place. It holds its flavor for approximately six months and should be discarded after one year.
It can be used when making Swedish meatballs, cakes, cookies, pies and soups. In many recipes it can be used as a substitution for cloves. Allspice is also a good seasoning for beets, baked beans, carrots and squash. It is a good addition to tea and frappes.
Allspice is most associated with Jamaica, due to the fact that that country is the leading exporter of the spice. Many Jamaican dishes rely heavily on allspice as a main ingredient. Examples include Jamaican jerk chicken, burgers, turkey and pork. It is also used in making rubs and marinades. Recipes using allspice include spice cake, turkey quesadillas, cherry bourbon-glazed ham and Caribbean bruschetta.