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Allspice Vs Cloves Differences & Uses

allspice vs cloves

Learning more about the spices we use can help us to be better home cooks. It is not just about being able to replace cloves with allspice or vice versa but also about learning more about each individual taste profile.

Allspice and cloves do have a lot in common with regard to flavor and how they are used. Both share an intense, pungent aroma and taste with allspice including tones of nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Cloves tend more towards a sweetness that is absent in allspice.

There are differences in the nutritional content too.

Allspice Vs Cloves In Cooking

We tend to use allspice and cloves almost interchangeably. Both are available in their whole form or ground in most supermarkets. They have a warmth of flavor that is verging on spicy and will be perfect in both sweet and savory dishes.

Both cloves and allspice can be found in pickled spice mixes as well as sweet mincemeat or Winter warmers. They are both great for adding heat and a depth of flavor, but stick to the recipe and don’t be casual with measurements as a little goes a long way with these pungent spices.

Nutritional Content Allspice vs Cloves

This is the surprising bit. For two such small ingredients you would be surprised with how much nutritional content they have packed inside them. The below values are for 1 teaspoon or 2g or ground spices. All data thanks to Nutrition Data.

allspice vs cloves
Vitamin / MineralAllspice – weight / %DVCloves – weight / % DV
Vitamin C0.7mg 1%1.6mg 3%
Vitamin E0.2mg 1%
Vitamin K 2.8mcg 4%
Folate 1.9mcg
Calcium11.6mg 1%12.9mg 1%
Iron0.1mg 1%0.2mg 1%
Magnesium2.4mg 1%5.3mg 1%
Potassium18.3mg 1%22.0mg 1%
Manganese0.1mg 3%0.6mg 30%
Sodium1.3mg4.9mg

Often when we look at nutritional values of herbs and spices we see such small values compared to the quantity that we will be eating. Here we can see some really high readings however. Look at the amount of manganese in cloves for example, this shows that adding a little spice in your cooking can have some very real health benefits.

How To Replace Allspice In Recipes

When I was younger I thought ground allspice was a mixture of different spices. Literally all-spice. Now I have learned it is a dried berry from the myrtle family and was named by Spanish explorers to Central America after the peppery flavor, Pimenta diocia. The name has stuck and the popularity has grown.

Allspice resembles a blend of many different flavors including cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and nutmeg. Meaning the best replacement for allspice is an equal parts combination of these spices. At a push you can replace it like for like with ground cloves.

How To Replace Cloves In Recipes

So cloves are a good replacement for allspice, but allspice is also a great replacement for cloves as well. Working well in both sweet and savory dishes. Cloves are a little sweeter than allspice but it is not to a noticeable amount when cooked.

What Next & Further Reading

Both allspice and cloves make a great addition to your spice rack, but at a pinch one can be used to replace the other. Nutritional content shows us a lot of benefits to each of them as well! So get creative and try using them in everyday recipes.

I hope you enjoy getting cooking and do let us know how you get on in the comments below.

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