Pimienta (Allspice berries)
Country of Origin – Mexico
Flavour/Aroma – Peppery and aromatic, resembles a mixture of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon
Chilli heat – None but lots of warming notes
Ingredients – 100% whole dried Pimienta Gorda (Allspice berries)
Uses in Mexican cooking – Used to flavour fish, meat and vegetable dishes, also in desserts and hot drinks
Uses in Fiesta Manana recipe spice kits
Pimienta berries are the dried fruit of an evergreen tree Pimenta Dioica. it is related to the clove. It grows in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Harvesters pick the fruit when it is green and full of flavour. Berries are briefly fermented in sacks and subsequently dried in the sun for five to six days.
Christopher Columbus famously named the berry Pimienta, meaning pepper. He sailed into the Americas whilst searching for a trade route to the far East. The treasure he sought was spices, then worth as much as gold. When he discovered allspice he mistakenly believed he had found pepper. He took the Spanish word for pepper and named it Pimienta as a result.
The name Allspice dates from the 17th century and reflects the fact than the spice resembles the flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove combined. It quickly became kitchen favourite and widely used to flavour sweet and savoury dishes.
Health and nutrition
Essential oils – The most important essential oil is eugenol, it is this that produces its distinct similarity to cloves.
Health benefits – Cumin has been scientifically observed to provide the following benefits
1 – It is an aid to digestion. The active ingredients sooth the muscles of the digestive system to prevent cramping, ease bloating and flatulence. [source]
2 – It is anti-inflammatory, the compounds combine to reduce inflammation and also provide pain relief [source]
3 – It has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and helps protect against e-coli and listeria [source]
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