Allspice: properties, use, nutritional values

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Joe Dispenza

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 Il pimento is a spice obtained from the fruits of the Pimenta dioica plant. From the properties digestive, carminative and antiseptic, widely used to season grilled meat. Let's find out better

> Description of the plant

> Properties and benefits of allspice

> Calories and nutritional values ​​of allspice

> Use in the kitchen

> Curiosities about allspice


Description of the plant

The berries of pimento are the dried fruits of Pimenta dioica, a plant of the Myrtaceae family native to Jamaica.
"Pimento" in Spanish means pepper. This spice got its name because it was originally mistaken for pepper as the berries are very similar, although those of allspice are larger.
In Europe it is also known as Jamaican pepper o clove pepper (for this reason it is sometimes confused with cloves).


Properties and benefits of allspice

Allspice is rich in eugenol, an oil from digestive, carminative, analgesic and antiseptic properties, for this it is an excellent remedy for abdominal colic e swelling but also to soothe the pain of toothache.

Allspice fruits are vasodilators and increase blood flow by producing a warming effect, for this the pimento wraps are suitable to cure muscle pain e arthritis.
To warm up, an infusion of berries is excellent, also useful in case of respiratory tract infections.

The use of allspice as a natural remedy has its roots in South American folk medicine which considered it a panacea for the stomach.

During the Russian Campaign in 1812, Russian soldiers kept allspice berries in their boots to keep their feet warm and keep odors away. Still many today men's bathroom products as shower gels and soaps contain allspice.


Calories and nutritional values ​​of allspice

100 g of allspice contain 263 kcal, e:

  • 8.69 g fat
  • G carbohydrates 72.12
  • 6.09 g protein
  • Fiber 21.60 g
  • Water 8.46 g  
  • Calcium 661 mg
  • Sodium 77 mg
  • Phosphorus 113 mg
  • Potassium 1044 mg
  • Iron 7.06 mg
  • Magnesium 135 mg 


Use in the kitchen

The use of allspice in cooking is truly varied since a complex aroma is contained in its berries, which reminiscent of different spices but it turns out delicate and not excessively spicy.

The Aztecs used it to give a spicy and spicy touch of chocolate and still today pimento is present in Mexican cuisine, especially in moles, the famous sauces of this nation.
Caribbean cuisine uses allspice in many dishes and especially for seasoning meat cooked on the grill.
Allspice is widespread in the Middle East (especially in Palestinian cuisine) and in some parts of Africa (found in Berberé, the Ethiopian spice blend).

In Europe, the use of allspice in cooking is less: we find it in savory pies and in Scandinavian marinated herring, In smorrebrod, typical Danish canapes and in several English recipes such as i pancakes, the pickles and Christmas sweets.

In the United States, allspice is a key ingredient for pumpkin pie, a typical Thanksgiving dessert.

Extremely versatile, allspice is perfect on fruit-based desserts as on savory dishes, above all vegetable broth e pork and lamb.
Excellent for flavoring simple dishes such as mashed potatoes, vegetable soups and fried eggs.

The grains should be stored in a cool place and the ideal is grind them at the time of use to keep the organoleptic properties intact.
The extra advice: to intensify the flavor and aroma of allspice berries, place them on a baking tray and keep them in the oven for about 10 minutes. In this way they will release all their aroma.


Curiosities about allspice

The flavor of the allspice, as already mentioned, recalls different spices and this characteristic justifies some names given to this pepper: the Anglo-Saxons call it "allspice”(All spices) while among the French it is known as four-spice (four spices), referring to the spices that can be found in the flavor of the allspice: cloves, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.



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