Allspice or Pimienta Gorda

Funny, it wasn’t until recently that allspice became incorporated into Mexican local cuisine. Allspice has been grown in Mexico since the 1600’s but was seen as an exotic and expensive spice for export.

Allspice is as unique and simple as it sounds. It is the only spice that grows exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. When the Spaniards first encountered it in Jamaica, they named it pimienta because of its close resemblance to peppercorn. Because allspice is much larger than peppercorn it earned the name pimienta gorda, which literally means fat peppercorn.

The english name allspice comes from its aroma, which smells like “all the spices” with hints of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Allspice is grown in the tropical climates of Veracruz, Tabasco and in the Sierra area of Puebla, where the same mountain vapor helps the growth of coffee.

Allspice, for some reason, goes really well with chiles.


10comments inAllspice or Pimienta Gorda

  1. Malena

    Jan 18

    Hola….gracias por compartirnos tus recetas y métodos! Soy alérgica a la almendra y al cacahuate…y de verdad me encanta el mole (no picoso!) pero no puedo comerlo. Alguna idea de con que ingredientes puedo substituir las almendras y los cacahuates?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 21

      Hola Malena! Imagino que hablas del tradicional mole poblano, que tal si te animas con esta otra receta que tiene una salsa de nuez tipo mole? Queda delicioso, ojala te guste 😉

  2. Patricia

    Dec 23

    Siempre pense que la pimienta gorda era lo mismo que la pimienta blanca!😁

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 24

      🙂 🙂 Que bueno que te quitaste la duda Patricia!

  3. Clare Gray-Bayne

    Jun 14

    I have used allspice in my pepper grinder before–it lines up with your comment that allspice goes well with chiles. It gives black pepper and peppercorn mixes an interesting aroma.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 18

      Absolutely Clare, thanks for sharing 😉

  4. Dani

    Oct 26

    I am curious whether allspice is ever used in any sweet recipes in Mexico (desserts,cookies…)or in savory ones only?

    1. Pati

      Oct 27

      In both! Sweet AND savory and in all kinds of foods and even drinks…

  5. margaret basrnum

    Sep 19

    i love your show and have learned much and enjoyed much.I live in TEXAS and have many mexicain friends and daughter inlaw and two handsome grandchilderen that are mexicain american an daughter in law is staff srgt. in air force. i am making the jamaica water now and hope its what everyone remembers its like everyone loves it but has no idea how to make it an i am makeing double batch of concentrate. I didn’t know why my beans came out hard some time an i now know fr5om u that i add seasonig after their cooked thanks, after 50 yrs of doing it god bless u an your fine looking boys thks again

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 20

      Hola Margaret, Thank you so much for watching and for the kind words! Your comment about the beans made me laugh…I’m glad I was able to give you a few pointers to help them turn out better.

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