It consists of approximately 1cm round berry, from colour brown to reddish-brown. Furthermore, it is slightly rough to the touch. The berries of the allspice grow in a tree of shiny green leaves from the family of myrtle, and it is originally from the Western Hemisphere. The spice is the unripe and dried fruit of the tree.
The English name is due to its sensory nature: slightly spicy, sweet and with characteristics which remind of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Allspice is used in many foods. Among them, we find baked goods like cakes and cookies. It is also used in the meat industry processed under two ways: like essential oils and like oleoresin. On one hand and under these ways, it is use in products like mortadella and Viennese sausages. On the other hand, the whole allspice can be used in the marinades of corned beef, sauerbraten and fish. The allspice is the main flavouring of the Caribbean and Jamaican foods, as well as of the spices mixtures.
The first Spanish explorers discovered this spice and they give it the name of pepper, due to its similarity with the black peppercorns.
The Mayan Indians from Central America used this pepper to embalm. Europeans used it in large quantities to preserve meat and to its roasts. The Second World War reduced its presence in Europe and its popularity never recovered the place that it had then.