- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
Strausbaugh, Perry D. Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
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The dried, unripe fruits (berries) of a small, tropical, evergreen tree, Pimenta dioica (P. officinalis), of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae). Allspice (see illustration), which is also known as Jamaica pepper, is a native of the West Indies and parts of Central America and South America. Allspice is so named because its flavor resembles that of a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The spice, alone or in mixtures, is frequently used as a flavor in sausages, pickles, sauces, and soups. An oil can be extracted from the leaves and fruits of allspice. This essential oil, which is called allspice oil, pimenta oil, or pimento oil, is used in flavoring, medicines, and perfumery. It is yellow to brown in color and has a spicy aroma and pungent taste. Its main components are eugenol and various terpenes. See also: Essential oils; Myrtales; Spice and flavoring
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