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Pimenta dioica
Pimenta dioica
Did you know that… ?
  1. …allspice grows up to 6 – 12 meters and can live to 100 years?
  2. …allspice berries, pea-sized and with a small cup at the top are formed from small white flowers and are harvested before ripening?
  3. …the best allspice berries are from Jamaica and are known as Jamaican pepper?
  4. …the English name allspice, French "toute-épice" (all flavors), or "fourspice" refers to its flavor and aroma, which is a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, with a hint of pepper?
  5. …ground and boiled allspice berries, made into a plaster and applied to painful places help with rheumatism and neuralgia?
  6. …the active substance in allspice is Pimenta essential oil, which gives allspice its hot, but pleasantly spicy taste?
  7. …allspice can be used with cinnamon and cloves in mulled wine? It produces an even mellower taste.
  8. …allspice is whole or ground dried berries of the Pimenta dioica tree?

Prawns with allspice

1 l light beer
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground allspice
500 g large frozen prawns

In a large pot, bring beer with salt and allspice to a boil, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cooked prawns. Leave in marinade until cool. Drain and serve prawns as an appetizer or as a first course with tomato dressing or vinaigrette.


Allspice was brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in the 17th century from Latin America. This spice was known to the Indians of the western tribe Arawak and it was used for spicing meat (including human meat) by Caribbean tribes. More than likely it was used by Aztecs and Mayans, for cult rituals and to spice chocolate. To this day allspice trees are grown in orchards and when blooming, the air is filled with the aroma of their bark, leaves flowers and later, berries. Allspice trees are similar to apple trees.