Allspice

Allspice (Pimenta dioica) is the dried, unripe fruit of a small, evergreen shrub that looks like a bay laurel. Native to Jamaica, it is now grown in Central America and Hawaii and figures heavily into the cuisine of the Caribbean. Allspice was discovered by Christopher Columbus and named by his doctor, Diego Álvarez Chanca. 

While nearly every part of the allspice tree are used where it is grown (the leaves are used as like bay leaves, the wood is used to smoke meat), the dried fruit is the only part typically exported. A liqueur is made from a maceration of allspice berries called Allspice Dram (or Pimiento Dram), which has recently been reintroduced to the American market. 

Allspice is a hard, brown fruit that looks like a smooth, enlarged peppercorn. It smells sweet and spicy -- like a combination of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It is an important part of Caribbean and Palestinian savory cooking, as well as desserts in England and the United States. 

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