About Allspice or Pimenta Dioica spice
Allspice or Pimenta dioica (L.) is the dried unripe fruit of a polygamodioecious evergreen tree. It is basically used for culinary purposes. John Ray (1627 to 1705) was the English Botanist who coined the name Allspice. He recognized the flavor of Allspice and described it as a combination of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The evergreen trees of Allspice belong to the family Myrtaceae, which consists of about 3000 woody species. Most of the trees belonging to Myrtaceae family grow in the tropical regions. The important amongst these species are genus Pimenta Lindl., Myrtus L., Eugenia L. and Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. Genus Pimenta Lindl. is closely related to Myrtus L. and Eugenia L. It is native to tropical America and consists of approximately 18 species of aromatic shrubs and trees. The commercially important Pimenta spp. is Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. It provides the spice pimento or Allspice and P. racemosa (Mill) Moore, bay or bay rum tree providing oil of bay. This genus has the basic chromosome number x = 11 and Allspice is a diploid with 2n = 22.
Allspice is well known amongst spice companies and is recognized by different names in different languages:
1. In English language it is known by the names Allspice, Pimento, Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper or Newspice.
2. In Arabic language it is known either by the name Bahar or Bhar hub wa na’im
3. In Danish it is called Allehande
4. In Dutch language it is either known as Jamaica pepper or piment
5. In Estonian language it is known either by the name Harilik pimendipuu or Vurts
6. In Finnish it is called Maustepippuri
7. In French language it is known by the names Piment, piment Jamaique, poivre aromatique, toute-epice or poivre de la Jamaique
8. In German language it is known by the names Piment Neugewurz, Allgewurz, Nelkenpfeffer, Jamaicapfeffer or Englisches Gewurz
9. In Hungarian language it is known by the names Jamaikai szegfubors, Szegfubors, Pimento or Amomummag
10. In Icelandic language it is called Allrahanda
11. In Italian language it is known either by the name Pimento or pepe di Giamaica
12. In Norwegian language it is called Allehande
13. In Polish language it is called Ziele angielskie
14. In Portuguese language it is called Pimenta da Jamaica
15. In Russian language it is called Yamaiskiy pjerets
16. In Spanish language it is called Pimienta de Jamaica, pimienta gorda
17. In Swedish language it is called Kryddpeppar
18. In Turkish language it is called Yeni bahar
Appearance of Allspice
As a leading spice distributor of simply organic spices, we are sharing our knowledge about the appearance of Allspice tree. Allspice is a small evergreen tree having a height of 7 to 10 meters. It has slender trunks which are profusely branched at the extremities. The bark of the tree is very smooth and shiny, that shreds in strips of 25 to 75 cm long at intervals. The bark is pale silvery brown in color. The leaves of Allspice tree are borne in clusters at the ends of the branches. They have pellucid glands which produce an aroma on crushing. It’s petiole is 1 to 1.5 cm long, lamina elliptic to elliptic–oblong, 6 to 15 cm long and 3 to 6 cm wide, rounded at the apex and tapering at the base, dark green above, paler beneath and pinnately veined with the midrib impressed on the upper surface and prominent beneath, lateral veins not very prominent. The trees have a separately branched inflorescence axillary compound which is paniculate and has length of 5 to 15 cm. It consists of many flowered cymes. Flowers are hermaphrodite but exhibit functions of either male or female. They are white in color and have a diameter of 8 to 10 mm. The flowers are aromatic. The pedicels are pale green and pubescent, with small brownish pubescent bracteoles. They are about 1 cm long. The receptacle has four, cream-coloured, thick rounded calyx lobes which are persistent in the fruit. There are four quickly deciduous white petals which have a length of about 3 to 4 mm. The fruit of Allspice is a sub-globose berry which has a diameter of 4 to 6 mm. It is green when unripe and deep purple to glossy black when ripe. On drying the unripe fruit become dark brown and become aromatic.