'Discovered' by Columbus on arriving in the Caribbean in search of India and the source of the lucrative trade in spices, particularly pepper (hence the name, pimento). Disappointingly for him, and perhaps his backers his pimento turned out not to be a pepper after all and so nowhere near as valuable. Perhaps as a consolation, the spice has a rich, sweet scent and a spicy clove-like flavour. Allspice is sometimes mistakenly thought of as a blend of spices but is named due to the spice having a scent and flavour reminiscent of many spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Popular in the Caribbean where the best crop is grown, allspice is also an important component in sweet mixes such as mixed spice as well as savoury mixes such as baharat from the Middle East. The ground spice needs to be used relatively quickly as the flavour reduces over time.
uses: Add whole berries to a pickles or marinades, particularly with seafood. Allspice is also a good flavouring for meats and a little of the ground spice to a seasoning for grilled meats adds a really delicious depth and spiciness.