Allspice - evergreen tree myrtle family, reaching a height of 6-12 meters. The leaves are oblong-ovate, curled at the edges, dotted with glands. Inflorescences small, white, gathered in racemose umbrellas. The fruits of the tree are green at first, and when ripe turn red. Inside there are two or three chambers in each of which there is one black-brown seed color.
The tree loves the lime-soil bauxite, which creates certain difficulties in its cultivation. The plant begins to bear fruit only in the seventh year of life. The fruit harvested unripe, as in mature as they quickly lose their flavor, and as a spice values do not represent. Dry them in special furnaces or in the sun, whereby they acquire a granular surface and a rounded shape. With one tree you can harvest up to 75 kg of fruit. The diameter of the fruit is about 5 mm.
In Europe, allspice plant called Columbus, as it was he who found it. Currently, the plant is also called "allspice".
As a seasoning plant was used in Europe in the late 17th century. He quickly gained popularity and became in demand because of its specific aroma. Compared with the already known while exotic spices allspice represented something special and unusual. In the Czech Republic, for example, and his nickname - "new spice." And in England, dried fruit pepper called "English".
The aroma of pepper associated with mustard, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, so it is called «all spice», that is, "universal seasoning."
Homeland plants is India, and Central and South America. Francisco Fernandez, a French scientist, during the period from 1571 to 1577 years. He traveled to Mexico on behalf of King Philip II and faced with this plant in the Mexican state of Tabasco. So he dubbed the plant «Piper tabasci». There he learned that the Aztecs used this seasoning with vanilla to flavor chocolate drinks.
The plant grows wild in southern Mexico, the West Indies, Venezuela, Costa Rica. Cultivate it in Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Cuba. The main producer of sweet pepper is by far Jamaica.
In 1925 it was harvested crop largest allspice - 6000 tons (usually annually collect not more than 4, 5000 tons).
The composition of sweet pepper
100g pepper contains 8, 46 g of water, 21 grams of fiber 6, 4, 65 g of ashes; Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C; minerals selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
As part of allspice present 3-5% essential oils, tannins, acute fatty oil, resin.
As part of the essential oil were discovered eugenol, caryophyllene, cineol and fellandron.
Application allspice in cooking
In cooking, allspice is often used as a substitute for black. In fact, this relish, abuse is undesirable. This spice is one of the constituents "curry". Add it in cakes, liqueurs, cookies. If the season with allspice sauce greasy, it will not only delicious, but also will have an exquisite flavor. This spice is added to a variety of dishes: spinach, grilled fish, jellies, soups, fish, salads, pudding, pickled cucumbers, pickles.
To everybody's taste game, if it is filed under sauce made of this recipe: Add the broth black pepper, salt, flour, onion, lemon zest and cook on a mild heat, stirring occasionally. Then add a few peas allspice and red wine - sauce is ready.
None of the mistress is not without allspice when home canning, adding it to the brines and marinades, intended for salting and pickling of vegetables, especially cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and zucchini.
I found the use of pepper in the alcoholic beverage industry. They are flavored canned fish, salted herring, hard cheeses. In the hammer as it is added to various sauces and mustard. Excellent allspice combined with a variety of desserts, for example, with plum pudding, or fruit compote. In powder form, it is added into sausages and bakery products.
A tea with allspice very useful for diarrhea. It should also be emphasized that the essence of pepper and berries are used in the perfume, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Useful properties of allspice
In addition to great taste, allspice also brings benefits to the entire body. It contains a large amount of nutrients, so it is widely used in folk medicine. For example, it has spread in the treatment of spine and pinching nerves. In this first pepper grains are boiled, and then pulverized into powder. Also cooked peppercorns used in rheumatic diseases.
Essential oils that make up pepper, give a person more energy, the charge of strength and vivacity. Also, the essential oil is a natural antiseptic.
Excessive use of allspice may cause allergic reactions.