Whenever I lift the lid on a jar of allspice berries, that gorgeous aroma instantly gives me a warm, Christmassy feeling. Along with cloves, allspice is pretty much synonymous with festive bakes and cakes. Yet there is so much more to allspice than Christmas cake…
Said to have been named by the English back in the 15th century because it reminded them of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves all in one, allspice is native to Central and South America, where it was used to cure meat and flavour chocolate. It is now grown in warm climates all around the globe.
You’ll find allspice in Caribbean dishes, particularly in mole sauce and jerk seasoning, and in lots of Middle Eastern cuisine, such as meat stews and rice dishes. Allspice is popular in much of Europe as a flavouring in sausages, as well as in many marinades, pickling and mulling spices.
And according to the Leon book of Ingredients & Recipes, Russian soldiers in the 18th century sprinkled allspice in their boots to kill the stench!
Win a gourmet collection of spiced teas
But how do you like to cook with allspice? Link up your favourite allspice recipes in this month’s Spice Trail challenge for the chance to win a fab Spice Jubilee gift box from Adagio Teas. This gourmet tea collection features premium black tea from Sri Lanka flavoured with fresh cranberries, spicy pumpkin and minty candy canes.
Adagio Teas is an award-winning purveyor of exceptional teas, sourcing them directly from acclaimed gardens around the world. They work closely with artisan farmers in China, India, Sri Lanka and beyond to select the finest handpicked leaves for superior taste, freshness and value. Combining rare gems and popular classics, their extensive range of whole leaf varieties is aimed at making gourmet tea more approachable and enjoyable for all tea lovers.
I look forward to seeing what recipes you come up with…
How to enter The Spice Trail
- Display the The Spice Trail badge (above and also available here) on your recipe post, and link back to this challenge post.
- Up to three recipe links accepted per blogger, so long as each one feature’s this month’s spice, allspice, as a central ingredient.
- Feel free to link up recipe posts from your archive, but please add the information about this challenge to the post and The Spice Trail badge.
- Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Monday 29 December 2014.
- If you tweet your post, please mention #TheSpiceTrail and me @BangerMashChat in your tweet and I’ll retweet each one I see.
- As entries come in, links to these will be added to the bottom of this page.
- At the end of the month, the winner will be announced in a round-up of all the entries.
- Entries from bloggers all around the world are accepted. However prizes can only be shipped to addresses in the UK.
- All entries will be added to The Spice Trail Pinterest Board.
- Pot-roast chicken with soured cream and allspice from Bangers & Mash
- Spicy Roasted Squash & Apple Soup from Tales from the Kitchen Shed
- Pomegranate & Pine Nut Pilaf with Cauliflower Pineapple Curry from Spices Galore
- Spicy Gingerbread with Limoncello Icing from Chocolate Log Blog
- Ryba po Grecku (Greek Fish) from De Tout Coeur Limousin
13 thoughts on “December’s Spice Trail: cooking with allspice”
Always good to learn new facts about spices. I need to get more adventurous with all spice.
I found this post very interesting too, I never knew allspice was used in so many different dishes! I’ve only used it in Christmas cake and bakes so far.
I must admit, until I did my research I had no idea just how versatile it was. It makes me think of Christmas baking and Scandinavian meatballs, but I look forward to experimenting a bit!
I love allspice and use it a lot in cooking and baking! Karen
It is a great spice isn’t it, Karen? So versatile.
Allspice is a brilliant spice and flavours the first chocolate cake I ever made.
Oh really? I bet that was lovely – allspice with chocolate is a fab combination…
ooh how I love allspice. Will see if I can incorporate it into some cookies and share it
That sounds wonderful Nazima – hope you can take part!