Cherry of the Rio Grande
The unripe, dried (or cured) berry of the Allspice tree is the most commonly seen form. Two trees are required to get berries, their warm spicy flavor is a traditional Eggnogg flavoring. The leaves can be used in cooking like bay leaves, and will impart the same essence as using the ground spice, but at a lesser concentration. Try them in rice, soups, stews or marinade, just remove before eating (they have a rough mouthfeel). They're also a great addition to roasting pumpkins and winter squashes. The wood of the tree can be used to smoke meats, fishes or root veggies, it's used in Jamaica to cook jerk chicken over. Traditionally, allspice has been used to aid in relieving indigestion, nervous exhaustion and fungal infections.This tree is a must for anyone who enjoys cooking, or are looking add a tropical specimen to a medicinal or fragrance garden! Some oils in Allspice contain small amounts of carcinogens, so it is advised that women who are pregnant or nursing not consume it.
Sometimes referred to as pimenta, pimenton, etc, Allspice is a tropical evergreen tree native to Jamaica and Central America. It has shiny green leaves that smell like nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The bark is attractively patterned, and the tree can get around 20-25ft tall. It will grow slowly and take well to pruning. Allspice is hard to overwater, and appreciates some shade in the afternoon. Cover tree if it drops below 35 degrees.