This spice is commonly and incorrectly called Jamaican “pepper” or “allspice” because it does not belong to either of these two families. It is more judicious to call it, as the English do, “allspices”, “all spices”, because its smell evokes the four main spices. It is also called Indian wood, Mexican pepper or chili pepper, or Amomi.
This tree native to tropical America, in the Antilles region, belongs to the botanical family Myrtaceae. It is mainly cultivated in Jamaica and in tropical areas of America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico.
This large tree, also called Piment Myrtle, can reach 10 meters in height and can produce fruit for up to 100 years. It is adorned with pretty white flowers from June to August, which transform into round berries, the size of a pea and turn red when ripe. Like pepper, the berries are picked before maturity and dried in the sun, which gives them an elegant brown color.
Several planting attempts, outside the original area, have remained unsuccessful. The English tried in India, the experiment was also tried without success in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Australia. This tree is found wild in the West Indies, Central America and the northern part of South America.
The Mayans used it to embalm their dead. Today, it is widely used in cooking in the West Indies with fish and in their delicious little puddings.
Jamaican “pepper” is used in pastries to make certain biscuits, is used in the composition of ketchup (which is a very old invention of the Chinese and can be of very high quality, when it is not a question of industrialized American product saturated with sugar and artificial flavors, which you all know, unfortunately.), as well as in that of Bénédictine and Chartreuse. This magnificent spice is relatively little known in our latitudes and it’s a real shame, because it is rich in flavors.
Protected from light, heat and humidity.
100% Jamaican berries.
Botany: Pimenta dioica.
Net weight: 60g