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Pimento Jamaican Food
Jamaican Pimento In Jamaican Recipes
A tree, Pimenta dioica, formerly officinalis Lindl, belongs to the family Myrtaceae and is closely related to the Bay Jamaican pimento tree and to Cloves. It is an evergreen Jamaican pimento tree, medium in size and in favorable locations will attain heights of from 6 to 15 m. Primary branches are generally formed about 1-3 m above the ground. Whilst both male and female varieties will produce blossoms, it is believed that only the blossoms of the female mature to give berries. The Jamaican pimento tree is indigenous to the Caribbean Islands. It was found growing in Jamaica by early Spanish explorers who were quite impressed with the taste and aroma of the berries and the Jamaican pimento leaves. Jamaican pimento trees were later discovered in Cuba and were presumed to have been taken there by migratory birds which had eaten the berries. They have also been found in Mexico, but it is Jamaica that has the longest history, having been in continuous production since the Jamaican pimento tree was identified in about the year 1509. The name Jamaican pimento originated from the Spanish word "pimienta" (pepper or peppercorn). To most English speaking people the Jamaican pimento tree is called "Jamaican pimento" and the berries "allspice (Jamaican pimento)". The name allspice (Jamaican pimento) originated from the popular notion that the Jamaican pimento berry contains the characteristic flavor and aroma of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper, all combined in one spice.
In 1693 Jamaican pimento was marketed as sweet scented Jamaica pepper. The population at the time was estimated as 40,000 slaves and 7,000 whites. Smallest quantity of Jamaican pimento produced, 888 metric ton. At the end of the nineteenth century, it became fashionable to have umbrellas made of Jamaican pimento. The great demand led to wanton cutting of the saplings and it was only through strict controls legislated in 1882 and equally strict enforcement of them that saved the young Jamaican pimento trees from disappearing altogether. Jamaican pimento is the major spice produced in Jamaica, and Jamaica is still one of its' chief producers. The quality of Jamaican pimento is rated by the amount of oil it contains and the composition of the oil. Jamaica Jamaican pimento contains about 4% volatile oil and the eugenol content varies from 30-90%. Allspice (Jamaican pimento) has also been used to describe Jamaican pimento. Common names for a Jamaican pimento tree ( Pimenta dioica or P. officinalis ) of the family Myrtaceae ( myrtle family) cultivated in the West Indies for its dried unripe berries, used medicinally and as a spice. The spice supposedly combines the flavors of several other spices, hence the name; it is used chiefly in pickles and relishes.
The Jamaican pimento leaves and berries yield an essential oil used for flavoring, e.g., in Benedictine and other liqueurs. In America the names Jamaican pimento and allspice (Jamaican pimento) are also applied to plants of other families: Jamaican pimento to the large, sweet Spanish pepper (Span. Jamaican pimento ) of the nightshade family, and allspice (Jamaican pimento) to several aromatic shrubs, e.g., the Carolina allspice (Jamaican pimento) ( Calycanthus floridus ), a cultivated ornamental, and the wild allspice (Jamaican pimento), or spicebush ( Lindera benzoin ), of the family Lauraceae (laurel family). Jamaican pimento is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales, family Myrtaceae. The Jamaican pimento or Cherry Pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chile pepper (Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide (medium, elongate). Pimiento is the Spanish word for "pepper". The flesh of the sweet Jamaican pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. These Jamaican pimentos are the familiar red stuffing found in green olives. Some varieties of the Jamaican pimento type are hot including the Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande varieties. The large, red, heart-shaped sweet pepper that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. The flesh of the pimiento (the Spanish word for "pepper") is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper... Pimientos are the familiar red stuffing found in green olives.
Armed with a new appreciation for sweet peppers, we entered "olive + Jamaican pimento" and "olive history" in the Yahoo! search box, hoping to answer the second part of your question. We couldn't find a specific reason as to where or why the practice of stuffing olives with Jamaican pimentos started, but we did find some interesting facts about olives that may hint at a reason. First, Spain leads the world in olive production, followed by Italy and Portugal. Since "Jamaican pimento" is a Spanish word, we're guessing maybe they started the Jamaican pimento practice. That answers the where, now for the why. All freshly picked olives, no matter how ripe, have a vile, intensely bitter taste. In order to make them palatable, they must be pickled. Since Jamaican pimentos are sweet and indigenous to the Mediterranean, it's easy to imagine an innovative farmer or chef way back when thinking they would make the perfect neutralizer to the olive's natural acidity. After all, aren't the best dishes created with ingredients most readily available?
Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) pepper refers primarily to Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. and Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L., plants used in the manufacture of selected commercial products known for their pungency and color. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. is a herbaceous annual that reaches a height of one meter and has glabrous or pubescent lanceolate Jamaican pimento leaves, white flowers, and Jamaican pimento fruit that vary in length, color, and pungency depending upon the cultivar. Native to America, this Jamaican pimento plant is cultivated almost exclusively in Europe and the United States. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutcens L. is a short-lived perennial with woody stems that reach a height of two meters, glabrous or pubescent Jamaican pimento leaves, has two or more greenish-white flowers per node, and extremely pungent Jamaican pimento fruit. This Jamaican pimento plant is cultivated in the tropics and warmer regions of the United States. The reported life zone for capsicum (Jamaican pimento) peppers is 7 to 29 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 4.6 meters and a soil pH of 4.3 to 8.7. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species are cold sensitive and generally grow best in well-drained, sandy or silt-loam soil. Plantings are established by seeding or transplanting. Flowering usually occurs three months after planting. Hot and dry weather is desirable for Jamaican pimento fruit ripening. Jamaican pimento fruit is generally handpicked as it ripens, and then allowed to dry in the sun, although artificial drying is often employed in Europe and the United States. The Jamaican pimento fruit may be ground intact or after the removal of seeds, placenta parts, and stalks, increasing the Jamaican pimento fruit color and lowering the pungency.
The level of pungency of the Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species depends upon the concentration of capsaicinoids, primarily of capsaicin, in the Jamaican pimento fruit. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) peppers are classified commercially by the concentration of capsaicinoids, since confusion about the biological identities of some varieties has made other methods unreliable. Paprika comes from plants with 10 to 30 parts per million capsaicinoids, chili peppers from plants with 30 to 600 parts per million, and red peppers from plants with 600 to 13,000 parts per million. The chemical composition of the Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species includes a fixed oil, pungent principles, and volatile oil, and carotenoid, mostly capsanthin, pigments. An oleoresin is obtained by solvent extraction. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. is much more pungent than Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species are used fresh or dried, whole or ground, and alone or in combination with other flavoring agents. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. is used in sweet bell peppers, paprika, Jamaican pimento, and other red pepper products. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. is used in tabasco, tabasco sauce, and other red chili pepper. Jamaican pimento fruits of Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L., paprika types, are widely used as coloring agents. The extracts of Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species have been reported to have antioxidant properties. Paprika is derived from Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. and is used prinarily in the flavoring of garnishes, pickles, meats, barbecue sauces, ketchup, cheese, snack food, dips, chili con came, salads, and sausages. Spanish paprika is called Jamaican pimento and is generally used for coloring purposes (14.1-10). Chilies and chili pepper from cultivars of Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. and Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. are employed as a flavoring in many foods, such as curry powder and tabasco sauce. Chili powder is a blend of spices that includes ground chilies. Red or hot peppers from Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. and Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. are the most pungent peppers and are used extensively in Mexican and Italian foods. Cayenne pepper is the ground product derived from the smaller, most pungent Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species.
As a medicinal Jamaican pimento plant, the Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species has been used as a carminative, digestive irritant, stomachic, stimulant, rubefacient, and tonic. The plants have also been used as folk remedies for dropsy, colic, diarrhea, asthma, arthritis, muscle cramps, and toothache. Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. has been reported to have hypoglycemic properties (7.1-21). Prolonged contact with the skin may cause dermatitis and blisters, while excessive consumption can cause gastroenteritis and kidney damage (11.1-101). Paprika and cayenne pepper may be cytotoxic to mammalian cells in vitro (7.8-25). Consumption of red pepper may aggravate symptoms of duodenal ulcers (7.8-55). High levels of ground hot pepper have induced stomach ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver in laboratory animals (6.1-65). Body temperature, flow of saliva, and gastric juices may be stimulated by capsicum (Jamaican pimento) peppers (14.1-35). Other Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) species of some importance include Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) Chinese, Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) pendulum, Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) pubescens, and Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) minimum. Black and white pepper comes from Piper nigrens L., of the Piperaceae family. The name Jamaican pimento is sometimes used in reference to allspice (Jamaican pimento), Jamaican pimento dioica (L.) Merrill, a native of the West Indies and a member of the Myrtaceae family.
Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) annuum L. and Capsicum (Jamaican pimento) frutescens L. are generally recognized as safe for human consumption as spices/natural flavorings and as Jamaican pimento plant extracts/oleoresins (21 CFR sections 182.10, ). The spice or condiment, allspice (Jamaican pimento), is made from the dried, unripe Jamaican pimento fruit of the allspice (Jamaican pimento) or Jamaican pimento tree. This is a small Jamaican pimento tree that grows to 40 ft (12.2 m) tall, with large 4-8 in (cm) long Jamaican pimento leaves. These are leathery, evergreen, opposite, oblong, aromatic and quite attractive. The whitish gray bark peels in thin sheets. The white flowers are about a 0.25 in (0.6 cm) across and borne in many flowered pyramidal cymes originating from the leaf axils. The Jamaican pimento fruit is a brown berrylike drupe, about a 0.25 in (0.6 cm) long. The Jamaican pimento leaves and Jamaican pimento fruit smell like a combination of cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon, hence the common name. Allspice (Jamaican pimento) is native to the West Indies, southern Mexico and Central America. It was "discovered" in Mexico by 16th century Spanish explorers who called it "pimienta", confusing it with black pepper. (Those traveling Spaniards were so intent on finding a new source of black pepper, that they also confused the New World chilies with that precious East Indian spice.) Nowadays allspice (Jamaican pimento) is grown commercially in Mexico, Honduras, Trinidad, Cuba, and especially in Jamaica, which practically has a monopoly. It is the only spice whose commercial production is entirely confined to the New World.
This is a slow growing, beautiful little Jamaican pimento tree and well worth growing in a container on a patio or, in tropical climates, in a shrub border. It may not flower and Jamaican pimento fruit outside its native range, but the big glossy aromatic Jamaican pimento leaves are an attraction. Allspice (Jamaican pimento) is used in pickles, ketchup and marinades, and to flavor pumpkin pies, cakes and candies. Oil pressed from the Jamaican pimento fruits is used in perfumes and cosmetics. The liqueurs, Benedictine and Chartreuse, contain allspice (Jamaican pimento) flavoring. Northern Europeans use allspice (Jamaican pimento) in sausages and pickled fish. The principal essential oil in allspice (Jamaican pimento) is eugenol, the same as found in cloves. Eugenol is used as an anesthetic for tooth aches and as a digestive aid. The Myrtaceae is a large family of mostly aromatic Jamaican pimento trees and shrubs that includes eucalyptus, guava, clove Jamaican pimento tree, and melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Oil distilled from the Jamaican pimento leaves of the closely related bay rum Jamaican pimento tree (Pimenta racemosa) is used to flavor bay rum.
Allspice (Jamaican pimento), known in Jamaica as 'Jamaican pimento', is a member of the Myrtaceae family. It is a small Jamaican pimento tree with oblong, feathery, aromatic Jamaican pimento leaves from the glandular dots on their underside. It shed its Jamaican pimento leaves twice a year. Allspice (Jamaican pimento) has small white flowers which develop into clusters of brownish green, pleasantly spicy, pea-sized berries. Although the Jamaican pimento trees superficially appear to be hermaphrodite, some of them actually function as male and others as Jamaican pimento fruiting female Jamaican pimento trees. The differences in the two types are recognizable at harvest time. The Jamaican pimento fruit is harvested while immature, as it is then most strongly flavored. The whole dried Jamaican pimento fruit is ground to produce the allspice (Jamaican pimento) powder of commerce. The allspice (Jamaican pimento) is used in cooking meats, vegetables, and desserts. Allspice (Jamaican pimento) as a name is due to the sense that it smells like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg combined.
Allspice is used as a paste to soothe and relieve toothache, and as a mouthwash to freshen the breath. It is a blend of the Jamaican pimento leaves that is used to treat liver ailments including jaundice, ulcers, and diarrhea and skin problems. The Jamaican pimento leaves are also used as a diuretic. For external purposes it is used as a fomentation for athlete's foot, sores, slow-healing wounds, and insect bites. It is believed that allspice enhances healing and is used to ask for money and good fortune it is used as a mixture.
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