Allspice

pimento plant: pimento plant

Olaf Hendriksen from Leiden, The Netherlands asks:

“What to do with piment? The piment we have is bigger than black pepperseed, round, about 4mm diameter and brown.”

Kurma reples:

“Pimento is also a name for the small red chilies, also called pimiento, that are commonly pickled and stuffed inside olives. So there is sometimes a confusion. Allspice berries (also known as pimento) are what we are talking of here.

Pimento is an essential ingredient of Jamaican cooking and the essential ingredient in jerk sauce. The wood was first used to smoke jerk in Jamaica to produce the characteristic flavour. Nowadays the berries serve as a good substitute.

Dried pimento berries look like larger, browner versions of whole black pepper, but have a very different, unique flavour. Pimento is also a good home remedy for upset stomach in which case it is either chewed or crushed up and used to make tea. It is used in the preparation of bean dishes, not only because of its excellent flavour but because it is believed to reduce the flatulence caused by beans.

allspice seeds:

Pimento was discovered in Jamaica by Spanish explorers in 1509. The name originates from the Spanish ‘pimenta’ (pepper or peppercorn). Most people call the tree ‘pimento’ and the berries ‘allspice’. Because the pimento berry has the flavour and aroma characteristic of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper all combined in one spice, it is called allspice.

Pimento is used in sauces, pickling, cakes and curry powders.

Here’s loads more information…
Posted by Kurma on 5/8/08; 9:46:56 AM

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