Allspice berries have a combined flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, with a hint of juniper and peppercorn. Allspice used for cooking can be in powdered form or a whole berry. Be aware that some spice companies sell a mixture of spices labeled as “allspice,” so check the ingredients on the label to make sure you’re getting the real thing.
Allspice holds a prominent place in Caribbean and Latin savory and sweet dishes and is an important ingredient in many spice mixes, chutneys, vegetables, soups—and, of course, desserts. This spice is also a favored seasoning in holiday treats such as mincemeat and eggnog and is a major component of pickling spice, which is a combination of ground allspice pimenta and a dozen other spices. Allspice oleoresin is a natural mixture of resin and the oils of the myrtle berry and is often used in making sausage.