I talk with herb and spice specialist Ian Hemphill about black pepper and allspice. Would you be surprised to learn that black pepper is one of the most used spices in the world and has been used in cooking for over 2000 years?
Pepper was mostly eaten by the wealthy in the past as it was so expensive and sought after.
Did you know that pepper gets its kick from the compound peperine?
Pepper loses its flavour and aroma through evaporation so it’s best to keep it in an airtight container.
Consider using whole peppercorns and grinding just before use to maintain flavour or and add near the end of cooking.
You can of course grow some Australian pepper trees. They have the botanic name starting with Tasmannia. Don’t confuse this with the exotic large tree called the peppercorn. That’s Schinus areira, and is a weed species in all states of Australia.
Let’s hear more from Ian about how you can grow pepper in tropical zones like northern Queensland.
I talk with Ian Hemphill about allspice. The name allspice is because the flavour makes you think that you’re tasting nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Did you know that the fruit and leaf oil are also used in men’s toiletries? Ever heard of “Old Spice”, I used to buy that for my father for his birthday when I was going to school. Any men’s fragrance that contains the word ‘spice’ apparently has some allspice oil in it.
You can buy this tree online from a nursery in NSW called Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery that has just about every exotic tree around. Just remember it’s not drought or frost tolerant. They will also send you a mail order catalog for free if you ring or write to them.Allspice is mainly grown in Jamaica and for some reason, no-one has be able to successfully grow it much as a plantation crop, anywhere else. That’s a pity because the bark and leaves are very aromatic.
So what is allspice exactly and why is it so difficult to grow? Let’s find out…