Allspice got its name from the English who thought it had a flavor combination of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimento, Turkish Yenibahar, English pepper or newspice, is the dried unripe fruit (berries used as a spice) of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world.
Allspice features in many curries but main use is in ketchup, preserves and relishes. Around the world Allspice is used in cakes, pies, canned meats, and stews. It also adds a spicy note to mulled wine.
Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in moles, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powder. Allspice is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant, where it is used to flavor a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestine cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for allspice as the sole spice added for flavouring. In the U.S., it is used mostly in desserts. Allspice is commonly used in Great Britain, and appears in many dishes, including cakes.
In Greek cooking, allspice is used in stews, tomato sauces for pasta, red sauces, and marinades for game, meats, and fish. Whole dried berry is an essential ingredient in pickling spices and is often used in preparing meats and fish. Use sparingly; the taste can become overwhelming.