Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kim's Dowry

When my wife & I married in '94, we both already had established spice cabinets to combine. One of her spice cabinet's bottles contained whole Allspice, an ingredient not common to anything I cooked with up to that point. So it got added to "our" spice cabinet to languish until needed.

Recently, I was making a new-to-my-discriminating-family dish, and a had a fond memory of a Kim-predecessor making a similar meal for me at her place which included whole allspice during the cooking process.

Worried that the family might not react favorably to a strong flavor of allspice, Astor's Whole Allspice was fished out of the cabinet to add whatever contribution it could after probably more than 17 years.

Its contribution was surprisingly stronger than anticipated. Fortunately, no one appeared to consider it overpowering, and the meal was enjoyed by everyone.

So I now know pork with whole allspice can be rotated in every so often & be eaten by everyone. When Kim's dowry runs out, I will be curious to see if new, whole allspice will be that much different from what Astor sold many years ago.



  1. Allspice berries are useful ingredients in brines for pork and poultry prior to smoking, and as an ingredient in pickling spice.

    Also, you can take smaller berries out of the jar and put them in a peppermill with white and black peppercorns for a more interesting flavor profile for your seasoning-with-freshly-ground-black-pepper needs.

  2. Tom, My wife is a spice whore. She is the proverbial moth to a flame when it comes to spices. A visit to the Indian grocery store is sure to be an excuse to come home with a bottle, or even worst, a large bag of some spice we will most likely never use. Our rather large spice cabinet is bulging with spices from corner of the world. I always tell her to only buy a little bottle so we can have a chance to use them before the volatile loose their punch. Good to know that the whole allspice will still have some zest in 17 years. We have ground, crushed and whole. Do you need some achiotie? We have it ground, crushed and whole. It is used in something.

  3. Tom, your brother just bought a 15 year supply of juniper berries (4 oz bottle). Give him a call if you have a need for this versatle, family-friendly ingredient.

  4. Heh, heh,

    Big brother apparently forgot that I am only on year 12 of the supply I bought (& kept in the deep-freeze) to make a white chili which won a cook-off:

    Unfortunately, the family does not care for lamb. Since I'd rather have homemade beer instead of homemade gin, I'm not sure what I will do with the rest of my frozen berries.