D' Secret To Tasty Jamaican Meals
I am itching to tell you a little about Jamaican Allspice... the secret
(if you never knew) to the unique taste of Jamaican Jerk!
Most of us locals know it as pimento. In fact, to be honest, it was
only a few years ago that I realized that the dried berry is what is actually called Allspice - primarily by the US.
And why is it called allspice? Of course I was curious.
I learned that it is called Allspice because its flavor suggests a blend of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
trees are abundant in Jamaica but I do believe that my little childhood
community, Beeston Spring has the most per square than
anywhere else in Jamaica, and perhaps the world - seriously :-) !
addition to agriculture, allspice cultivation was the main stay of our
little district for years. It still plays a vital economic role today in
the community, particularly for the older folks.
By the way, we still produce the largest amount of Allspice in the world but it is said that Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Leeward Islands forms alternate sources.
Not only do we grow much more, ours have been considered superior because it has a higher oil content and better appearance and flavor than any other.
Jamaican pimento berries on the tree, just before picking/ reaping
Jamaican Pimento (Allspice) in tube ready to be dried in rural Jamaica
Allspice has a clove-like aroma, while the Honduran and Guatemalan
varieties have a characteristic bay rum flavor. Its heavy sweetness
lends allspice a great deal of versatility.
Whole, it is used in poached fish stock, vegetable and fruit pickles, and for wild game.
Ground, it is found in spice cakes, puddings, cookies, gravies, and of course, is the key ingredient in our Jamaican Jerk dishes.
And by the way, if you make your own barbeque sauce, it is a great secret ingredient!
Take a look at this wiki page if you want to learn a little more about the history, other uses, and the cultivation, of allspice.
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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