The name for allspice is thought to come from England in the early 17th century where it was considered a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Allspice is a great example of a spice versatile enough to be used in meat preparation, pickling, drinks and dessert. When whole, allspice looks like a peppercorn and is picked when green and aged in the sun.
One of the classic uses for ground allspice is in Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. To make the blend combine paprika, onion, whole thyme, ground allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Rub this blend into meat using 1 tablespoon to 1 pound of meat, fish or tofu before you grill and serve with rice.
Allspice is thought to have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects.