There is a common misconception that Allspice is a blend of different spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Allspice is not a mixed spice blend and is in fact none of those other spices. Allspice is a fruit that is picked before it is ripe from an evergreen tree called the Pimenta dioica. The fruit looks much like a peppercorn.
In the 15th century pepper was considered to be a very valuable spice. When the Spanish arrived in the Americas, they found this evergreen tree and thought the berries on the Pimenta dioica were pepper. It caused much confusion and disappointment to those hoping to trade this valuable commodity. Over time, in order to avoid the confusion, spice traders started calling this spice Allspice. The name came from the fact that the warm spicy flavor tasted like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – “all the spices.”
Allspice is native to the Caribbean and Latin America. It was being used by the indigenous people to flavor chocolate and to preserve meats when European explorers arrived.
Pick up the spice, along with a recipe at one of the Coffey County Library branches.
To receive the materials, please register online at https://bit.ly/CoffeyCountySpiceoftheMonth, by scanning the QR code below, or drop by any of the Coffey County Library branches.