Regardless of being one of the most popular spices in the world, allspice is very often mistaken as a mixture of different spices. It is a spice on its own, made of dried ground berries from the Pimenta Dioica tree. Allspice is commonly harvested in Central America, Mexico, and some other tropical areas of the world.
Allspice has a unique combination of flavors. It does taste like a mixture of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. It’s also well-known for having anti-flatulent, anti-inflammatory, and carminative properties.
As allspice is a bit unconventional, you might not be able to find it whenever you want. You can get the job done with some suitable substitutes though, which are more conventional and easy to find. Here are the allspice substitutes you can look at.
1. Pumpkin Pie Spice
The flavor of pumpkin pie spice is a bit sweet and warm. It might not be the very first thing that comes to your mind while looking for allspice substitutes, but using a few pinches of it can work as a pretty good alternative.
Dishes that have significant portions of caramel taste delicious with some pumpkin pie spice in them. You can also prepare great savory meat recipes by replacing allspice with pumpkin pie spice.
2. Cinnamon and Nutmeg
A combination of cinnamon and nutmeg can replicate a flavor remarkably close to allspice. As allspice itself feels like a combination of different flavors, including these two, using equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg can easily become a substitute.
If you are cooking a dessert or a sweet dish, then the flavors of a cinnamon and nutmeg mixture will perfectly match up as a substitute to allspice. The taste might get altered to some extent, but the food won’t taste bad for sure.
Mace is made from the red covering of nutmeg seed, which is called aril. Probably you have already guessed it; mace’s flavor has a very close resemblance to nutmeg flavor. And you can use it as an allspice substitute too in most of the recipes, especially the sweet ones.
Mace works best as an allspice substitute if applied alongside apple spice and cinnamon. If you want to put mace in savory recipes, combine it with ground cloves.
4. Ground Cloves
You’ll find allspice’s same spicy and earthy flavor in the ground form of cloves. The consistency in ground clove flavor is quite remarkable as well. It can replace allspice in both sweet and savory dishes.
Use a little bit less ground cloves if you are using it as a substitute to allspice. Being slightly stronger than allspice, too much ground cloves can overwhelm the other flavors in your food.
5. Ground Cinnamon
Cinnamon has one of the sweetest fragrances of all the spices out there. The beautiful aroma of ground cinnamon can make sweet and savory dishes much better. The ground version of cinnamon is a perfect replacement for allspice.
Combine ground cinnamon with cloves to get a unique flavor along with the fragrance.
6. Star Anise
You can’t replace allspice with star anise in all the recipes, as the latter has a much stronger flavor. Try using it in beverages, curries, stews, and marinades. It’s not a good idea to apply star anise in sweet recipes as an allspice substitute.
7. Apple Pie Spice
Apple pie spice’s use as an allspice substitute is precisely the opposite of star anise. Unlike star anise, use apple pie spice as a replacement to allspice only in sweet dishes.
Apple pie spice is a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Using it in savory dishes will most likely overpower other flavors.
Allspice can be found in two different variants, the round dried berries, and the ground powder.
The dried ground allspice berries are generally used to add flavor to desserts, curries, marinades, stews, and beverages. The flavor doesn’t get too strong while using this variant, unlike the other one.
The ground powder is mostly used in sweet dishes and desserts like pies, cookies, and tarts. It is a bit stronger than the dried berries. Ground allspice is a widespread ingredient for preparing many of the Christmas dishes.
The alternatives to allspice mentioned here can be used in various dishes based on the flavor they require. You can also do some mix and match to bring a different flavor in your recipe.