As you drive along the dusty side roads of Jamaica, you are suddenly drawn to the sweet clove-like aroma of allspice coming from a shack, where jerk-rubbed chicken and pork are being barbecued. Allspice was given its name by the English because its flavor contains the combined flavors of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. Indigenous to Jamaica and other areas of the Caribbean and Latin America, allspice visually resembles the black peppercorn, but not related to it. Since ancient era, it has been used by the Caribs to preserve fish and meats, and the by pirates in the Caribbean to smoke and barbecuemeats. Today, an essential spice in the Caribbean, it is added to barbecues, curries and stews. Called Jamaican pepper, all parts of the allspice plant- berries, leaves and wood are used to give the characteristic smoky and spicy flavor, the “jerk“ flavor to barbecued chicken, pork or fish. It is also popular inthe Middle East, added to berbere and ras-el-hanout which season stews and pilafs, and in Europe to season pickles, sausages and stews.