This flavour packed berry combines the flavour of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg hence its name. It is also known as Jamaican pepper, Myrtle Pepper and Pimenta/Pimento (not related to what goes in your stuffed olive). It is originally a native of Central and South America but it is now grown in many warm places in the world. Allspice is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant.
Jamaica is the biggest exporter of Allspice and so it features heavily in its cuisine - Beef Jerky, Patties and other dishes. Most of the tree is used in cooking. The wood from the trunk in smoking. The leaves, like Bay leaves are used to flavour dishes. Allspice berries are used in both sweet and savoury dishes. In the UK and USA it is used in sweet dishes. In the Middle East and in Portugal it is used in stews. It is also used extensively in commercially made sausages.
In Jamaica it is revered as a cure all. An infusion is made to soothe infant colic and diarrhoea, and even excessive and painful menstruation.