When cooking, it is extremely important that you know your spices and other ingredients. You might have seen and tasted that allspice and nutmeg often pair together in many recipes. And, you may have also sometimes felt that they taste similar. Hence, this is the reason why we decided to address all the properties of allspice vs nutmeg.
Allspice and nutmeg are two different spices, and they are not the same. And, they even come from separate botanical families and are very different in appearance. But, still, they have some flavor similarities leading to a misconception to think that they are the same.
Thus, we hope to clear all your doubts from the rest of this article. Our primary focus here is to explain the difference between whole/ground allspice berries and nutmeg. So, keep reading to know how they get to taste similar and in what properties allspice and nutmeg distinguish from each other.
Allspice Vs Nutmeg- Differentiating The Two Spices
Allspice and nutmeg both are distinctive spices that give so much added value to your meals with flavor, aroma, and texture. Both are staples in many cuisines across the globe in a number of sweet and savory dishes.
If you are not very familiar with these two spices, you might even have confusion, failing to figure out if they are the same. It is mainly because of their flavor resemblance.
Allspice and nutmeg contain similar chemical compounds called phenolic compounds, such as polyphenols and flavonoids. Accordingly, allspice has hints of nutmeg flavor, making its taste similar to that of nutmeg.
However, we can notice some subtle flavor differences between the two when savored separately. In fact, nutmeg’s flavor profile is not so intricate as allspice and is much more pungent and intense.
So, we have entered all the details that you’ve been longing to know about these two spices. Observe the table below to learn all the differences and similarities between allspice vs nutmeg.
|Flavor Profile||Warm, sweet, and slightly earthy. The flavor is literally a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with a trace of peppery note as in black pepper.||Deeply warm, pungent, bitter-sweet, nutty, woodsy flavored, and intense and slightly astringent.|
|Fragrance Profile||Earthy, fresh, and has an aroma combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.||Highly aromatic with distinctive woody, earthy, warm, pungent fragrance notes.|
|Forms available and used||It is used and available as whole dried berries or in ground form||Available as whole nutmeg seeds and in ground form. Even if it comes as a whole seed, it is usually used in all the dishes, grated.|
|Dishes or food that pair well||Ketchup|
Dry spice rubs
Dry meat rubs
Savory meat puddings
|Culinary use||– As a spice|
– Used as a sprinkle over yogurt and coffee
|– As a spice|
|Parts of the plant involved in culinary use||Dried berries and leaves||The pulp of the fruit is consumed topically. The aril that encompasses the hard dark brown shell of the seed is the source of the spice mace. And, the seed of the fruit is the nutmeg spice.|
|Nutrition per 100g||Saturated fat- 2.55g|
Monosaturated fat- 0.66g
Zinc- 1.01 mg
Total folate- 36µg
Vitamin B3- 2.86mg
|Saturated fat- 25.94g|
Monosaturated fat- 3.22g
Total folate- 76µg
Vitamin B3- 1.299mg
|Health benefits||– Rich in antioxidants|
– Contains Antibacterial, Antifungal, cancer-fighting, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-proliferative, Apoptosis, Anesthetic, Antiseptic properties
– Treats digestive issues like diarrhea
– Works as a painkiller against rheumatism and neuralgia
– Alleviates menopausal symptoms
– Boosts metabolism
– Keeps you energetic
– Helps with mental issues and brain function
– Treats oral-related health issues
– Contains hypotensive effect
|– Works as traditional remedies for stomach and kidney disorders|
– It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties
– Treats gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, flatulence, colic, and indigestion
– Beneficial for tumors, infectious diseases such as parasites, and plague.
– Treats skin infections, paralysis, and rheumatism
– Have potential benefits in treating psychological disorders.
– Enhances sex drive
– Has potential benefits in heart health
– Reduces blood sugar
|Availability||Cost-effective. Widely available as whole berries and powdered in leading supermarkets, local grocery stores, and online stores.||Affordable. Readily available as whole nutmeg seeds or in powdered form in leading supermarkets, grocery stores, and online stores.|
|Price||– A 1.25-ounce container of whole spice costs around $5.|
– A 0.9-ounce container of ground allspice costs about $4.
|– One fl oz of whole nutmeg costs around $4-$5|
– A 1.1-ounce container of ground nutmeg costs about $4-$5
|Shelf life||– When stored properly, whole allspice berries could stay flavorful for up to three to four years.|
– Ground allspice can stay well for up to two to three years when stored properly
|– When stored properly, whole nutmeg seeds will stay flavorful for up to three to four years.|
– Ground nutmeg will stay well for up to six months when stored properly.
|Storage||Both whole allspice berries and ground allspice should be stored in an air-tight glass container in a cool, dry, dark place.||Both whole nutmeg seeds and ground nutmeg should be stored in air-tight glass containers in a cool, dry, dark place.|
|Main featuring cuisines||– The Caribbean|
– Middle Eastern
– Some parts of the European Cusine
China, US, Indonesia, Asia, Italy, Middle Eastern, the Caribbean
|Appearance||Small, round, brownish seed-like dried berries||The nutmeg seed usually comes inside a hard dark-brown glossy shell. |
The seed is ovular shaped, dark or light brown, with a wrinkled surface.
|Other names||Jamaica pepper|
|Scientific name||Pimenta dioica||Myristica fragrans|
|Origin||Central America, The Greater Antilles and, Southern Mexico.||Moluccas of Indonesia|
What Is Allspice?
Many will have confusion with the name of this spice, wondering if it is a mix of a number of spices if they are not familiar with it. However, allspice is nothing but a single unripened dried berry from the plant Pimenta dioica.
This name was given to this spice by the Englishmen after figuring out that this is a combination of flavors from cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with a hint of black pepper. It mainly features Caribbean cuisine and is an integral ingredient of Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
Moreover, it has taken an important place in US cuisine due to its intricate flavor and aroma profile. Available and used in both forms as whole or powdered, allspice is a must-have ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes.
To gain more knowledge on allspice, click here for a comprehensive feature that covers every aspect of this spice.
What Is Nutmeg?
Nutmeg comes from the tropical, evergreen tree Myristica fragrans. And, it is technically the seed of the fruit of this tree.
Interestingly, almost all the parts of this fruit are edible. The pulp of the fruit is also consumed raw, which is very sour. And, the aril that encloses the hard and dark brown outer shell of the seed is what we use as the spice- mace. However, the hard outer shell is thrown away, and then the seed is what flavors and aromatizes our meals as the spice nutmeg.
For something warm, try adding cinnamon sticks and nutmeg to apple cider simmering on the stove. You’ll get the added benefit of making your home smell amazing.Clinton Kelly- The American TV personality, author, and lifestyle consultant
Packed with many health benefits, nutmeg has been used as a folk medicine in many cultures since the days of yore. The freshly grated content of the nutmeg seeds adds an in-depth flavor to any dish it calls for. We do not usually see whole seed goes into the dishes as it is. And, thus, it is always employed in cooking or baking grated or powdered.
Can You Use Allspice In Place Of Nutmeg And Vice Versa?
As mentioned on top, the flavor of allspice contains traces of nutmeg due to the same chemical compounds they share. Therefore, you might be thinking if you could substitute these spices for each other.
Well, if you go through our comparison table very well, you will notice that allspice and nutmeg have different flavor and aroma profiles, although they share a slight similarity flavorwise.
However, you cannot expect to get an exact taste by substituting each other. Nutmeg is nutty and intense, while the taste of allspice is somewhat sweet and nuanced. Consequently, they could bring a significant difference to your meals. So, allspice could be a perfect substitute for nutmeg if nutmeg is the chief spice of the particular recipe.
But still, you can use nutmeg in place of allspice in some recipes. Without employing it alone, it would be best if you use it with cinnamon and cloves to get a close flavor approximation.
Usage In Cooking- Allspice Vs Nutmeg
It is no mystery that both of these spices do wonders with anything they are added to! The nutty, pungent, warm flavor of nutmeg and the complex, fresh, balmy bite of allspice is such a match made in heaven.
Both allspice and nutmeg are spices that pair really well in many recipes. Allspice features in spice mixes like Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend and Apple Pie Spice Blend complementing cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is also the key ingredient in the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning that could add a deep flavor to many meat and poultry dishes.
Nutmeg is extensively used in spiced desserts. It is versatile and does not overpower the overall taste of your food. But, on the contrary, allspice has a more inclination to conquer your dishes as it has an intricate flavor profile.
Closing The Spice Stories Of Allspice Vs Nutmeg…
So, as you see, allspice and nutmeg are two different spices coming from two separate botanical families. Although they share a slight flavor similarity, when closely noticed, you know that they have distinct flavor profiles too.
However, they both work scrumptiously in dishes when paired together. They hold hands in world-famous spice blends like Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie spice blends. So, even though they are different spices, they both have the ability to add so much taste and value to our food.
This is all for allspice vs nutmeg from our feature this time, and we hope you got all your questions answered.